Inside JLR’s plans to deliver 120MW of onsite renewables on the road to net-zero

EXCLUSIVE: Automaker JLR has launched new solar energy projects, targeting nearly 120 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy production to reduce its operational emissions. The firm’s JLR's sustainability operations senior manager Alison Nuttall provides a behind-the-scenes look at the new renewables strategy.

Inside JLR’s plans to deliver 120MW of onsite renewables on the road to net-zero

Embedded within JLR’s broader global renewables strategy, the company will install120MW of onsite renewables across its estate, contributing significantly to its goal to cut operational carbon emissions by 46% by 2030.

“We’ve made these public commitments to reduce our carbon emissions and there are a number of ways to deliver that, with renewable energy being a key factor,” says Nuttall.

The strategy will see the implementation of onsite or near-site renewables at 31 sites that collectively contribute to 90% of the company’s energy consumption.

Nuttall explains to edie ahead of her appearance at edie 24 (scroll down for more details) that JLR is tailoring solutions to each site, exploring onsite solar installations such as roof-mounted panels, ground-mounted panels and solar carports.

This combination of solutions is set to boost the automaker’s self-generated energy capability from solar by 16%.

Nuttall explains that cross-disciplinary teams at JLR have examined various avenues to assess the best choices for renewable generation and procurement. Solar is particularly attractive as it could theoretically be developed on-site at any of JLR’s sites.

The first phase of strategy is underway, with three key solar projects in Gaydon, Halewood and Wolverhampton projected to provide an initial 6% increase in self-generated energy capability by the end of 2026.

At JLR’s headquarters in Gaydon, plans have been approved for an 18.2MW ground-mounted solar array. Combined with existing rooftop solar arrays, this installation is expected to fulfil nearly 40% of the facility’s energy requirements.

Similarly, at the EPMC in Wolverhampton, self-generated solar capacity is set to increase by 145%, covering 37% of the site’s total consumption.

Overcoming grid connection challenges

These projects have not been without challenges. JLR, like other firms exploring onsite solar in the UK and EU, face delayed grid connections partly due to historic inaction to scale and modernise grids.

Research has found that around £200bn of renewables projects are currently facing waiting times of 15 years to come online in Britain.

Nuttall notes that, through JLR’s renewables strategy, the company aims to establish its own energy generation capabilities while reducing reliance on the grid. Its approach involves leveraging a mix of on-site renewables and power purchase agreements.

She says: “There is a range of options available that reduce the grid reliance. That is what we are looking at doing.

“After the first phase of solar, the subsequent plans will be about having better energy resilience and not being so highly dependent on the grid and being able to take more control of our use of renewable energy.”

It bears noting that the challenges faced by JLR extend beyond its Scope 1 (operational) and 2 (power-related) emissions, encompassing the broader spectrum of its Scope 3 (indirect) emissions.

Scope 3 emissions: supply chains

Scope 3 emissions, primarily stemming from supply chains, remain a significant challenge for sustainability managers. CDP estimates that the average large multinational corporation will generate emissions 11.4 times higher through its supply chains than its operations.

JLR has stated an intention to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from operations, products and the supply chain by 2039.

Nuttall emphasises that while the renewable energy strategy primarily addresses JLR’s operational emissions, the company is actively engaged in collaborating with its supply chain to address broader sustainability concerns.

She says: “There is a lot of work happening in the Scope 3 phase. It is widely recognised that Scope 3 emissions are a very challenging element [of the net-zero transition].  We are trying to create a new responsible supply chain network.”

In 2022, the automaker urged all of its global suppliers to develop new targets to reduce emissions in line with climate science, stating that having such targets will soon be a requirement for the major suppliers.

Nuttall emphasises that JLR recognises the diverse challenges within its operations and supply chain and is seeking to foster collaboration across industries.

“Sustainability is a global problem, and we cannot solve it alone. Collaborative working is the only way we will achieve success,” she says.

In tandem with addressing its supply chain emissions, JLR is also making strides in mitigating vehicle use emissions, a crucial aspect of its Scope 3 emissions.

Electrification investment

Last year, JLR pledged an investment of £15bn over five years to accelerate the rollout a suite of electric vehicles (EVs).

edie checks in with Nuttall after nearly one year to assess JLR’s progress on this commitment to date.

“There has been a lot of work happening and a lot of progress made already. Some real tangible results can be seen from that,” says Nuttall.

She elaborates that a £250m investment has been allocated to create of a state-of-the-art EV test facility in Whitley, near Reading. This facility, which includes electric test rigs, electric drive unit manufacturing and EV systems test cells, aims to increase JLR’s test and development capacity.

Additionally, it will minimise costs and emissions associated with shipping prototype cars around the world for testing. A further £22m investment is planned for the site over the next year.

Elsewhere, JLR’s Halewood plant in Merseyside is presently undergoing transformation to become the company’s first electric-only plant. The construction of a new body shop tailored for electric models is nearing completion.

At the Wolverhampton plant, which has been renamed as the EPMC, new production lines are being installed in preparation for the construction of the first electric drive units later this year.

And, in Solihull, a new £70m EV underbody line is in the process of being installed.

Nuttall concludes: “JLR has been very clear about its journey towards electrification, and nothing is changing that.

“We are on track to deliver our goals and we are receiving a lot of positive feedback from the market on where we are heading.”

Editor’s note: This interview was conducted before JLR’s parent company Tata Group confirmed Somerset as the location for its EV battery Gigafactory. Read edie’s full story here.


JLR’s Alison Nuttall is speaking at edie 24 on Thursday 21 March.

She will join experts from Forum for the Future in a session exploring on how organisations of all sizes and sectors can measure and reduce their Scope 3 emissions.

edie 24 is the brand’s largest face-to-face event of the year and will convene hundreds of sustainability and energy leaders in central London on 20-21 March 2024 for two monumental days of keynote speeches, panel debates, unparallelled networking opportunities, interactive workshops and more.

Experts speaking alongside Nuttall on this year’s packed agenda include:

  • Chris Packham, renowned naturalist and presenter
  • Chris Skidmore, author of the Net-Zero Review
  • Claire O’Neill, chair of the WBCSD and former UK Minister for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
  • Chris Stark, outgoing CEO of the Climate Change Committee
  • Hannah Cornick, head of sustainability and social innovation at Danone
  • Natalie Belu, co-CEO of Belu and independent candidate for London’s Mayoral Elections

Tickets for the event are available now on an individual, group and sharing basis, with a full price list available here.

With places limited, edie users are encouraged to book edie 24 tickets now. You can secure your place here.

Comments (1)

  1. Albert Dowdeswell says:

    £200bn of renewable energy waiting up to 15 years for a grid connection!!! With our warming atmosphere we cannot wait!
    I fail to see why in many cases a grid connection upgrade would be necessary if the majority of power generated is used on site? Pay for battery storage rather than a grid connection, this takes any high load off the grid, gives the company extra use of their own electricity and added protection from power cuts.

    If there is still too much power generated, install an electrolyser to make Hydrogen for use on site or for transport vehicles that are rapidly coming available.
    A win win win situation for JLR!

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