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SEAT to become one of the world’s largest solar energy generators

SEAT is planning to taking maximum advantage of one of Spain’s greatest natural resources, the sun, and become one of the world’s largest solar energy generators.

The large-scale installation of solar panels at the firm’s factory and HQ at Martorell will make it possible to generate cleaner electrical energy at the plant, thereby avoiding the emission of more than 11,700 tonnes of CO2 each year.

By putting up a massive 8.5 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic panels, the system will generate 11.2 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity a year by the end of 2008. The first phase of solar panels will be placed on the roof of SEAT’s corporate building in Martorell, as well as on the support structure of one of the finished vehicle parking lots.

The next step will be to cover two more distribution areas with a total surface area of more than 66,000 m2 (16.3 acres). Adding panels to the roofs of several other assembly buildings will further boost generating capacity by 139,000 m2 (34.3 acres).

The idea is to reduce SEAT’s corporate carbon footprint during all phases of production, development and subsequent recycling of its products.

SEAT has also just opened a new railway to transport cars from the factory.

On 18th January 2008 the first FGC (Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat de Catalunya) train carrying vehicles from the SEAT factory in Martorell reached the Port of Barcelona.

The trip marked the culmination of a 6.8 million euro (£5 million) project to connect SEAT-Martorell and the port by rail.

The FCG Llobregat-Anoia line, which links Igualada to Barcelona via Martorell, passes only a few metres from the boundary of the SEAT plant and runs very close to a railway link to the port. But to create the connection between the SEAT Martorell factory and the Port of Barcelona a new branch line had to be built, part of the main railway line adapted and a new access point to the unloading area of the port created.

When fully operational the new goods transport service will see two trains per day transport an expected 80,000 vehicles per year, removing up to 25,000 trucks from the country’s roads and so reducing both truck emissions and road congestion.