As part of its ongoing efforts to reduce CO2 emissions at its manufacturing sites and promote the use of renewable energy sources, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, will install 606 solar panels at its Barcelona vehicle plant by the end of this summer.

Together the 606 solar panels at Barcelona will cover a surface of 3,000 square-meters and generate 308,000 kWh of electricity per year, while reducing CO2 emissions by 110 tons.

Of the total, 480 are photovoltaic panels which convert sunlight directly into electricity and have already started operations. The remaining 126 panels, which will be put in place by the end of the summer, are thermal panels which will be used for heating water for the vehicle paint process, among other industrial purposes.

The Barcelona plant is the second Nissan plant in Spain to install solar panels, making Nissan the first automotive company in Spain to widely introduce solar power at its factories. In February, Nissan announced it would install a total of 732 solar panels at its light commercial vehicle plant in Avila this summer resulting in savings of 267 tons of CO2 emissions every year.

Reducing CO2 emissions from both its products and day-to-day operations is a top priority for Nissan under the Nissan Green Program 2010, its midterm environmental plan announced last December. As part of that plan, Nissan has said it aims to reduce CO2 emissions from its manufacturing plants by 7% compared with the level in 2005.

In addition to Spain, Nissan is also using renewable energy at its Sunderland vehicle plant in the UK, where it has erected six wind turbines. The six turbines generate 5% of the plant's annual electricity, while cutting CO2 emissions by 3,300 tons a year.

Nissan has 6,800 employees in Spain and produced more than 200,000 vehicles in 2006.