It’s solar superlative time. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company reports having completed its largest solar panel installation to date. More than 29,700 solar panels now sit upon the rooftop of the tyre maker’s Pulandian factory site in Dalian, China, as well as on adjoining warehouse and office buildings – equipment that Goodyear says will reduce carbon emissions from purchased electricity by 17,000 tonnes annually over 25 years.
Tyres for electric vehicles made using renewable electricity. This is reality at Yokohama Rubber, whose Shinshiro-Minami plant in Japan has begun producing Yokohama Advan EV tyres with power from a new proprietary solar panel power generation system that officially entered operation in August 2023 and with renewable energy-generated electricity that the plant has been procuring since April.
Toyo Tires is installing a 14.0 MW solar power plant at its Toyo Tire Malaysia SDN BHD (TTM) tyre factory. According to Toyo representatives, TTM “mega-solar system” will be the largest in the state of Perak, Malaysia when work on the 96,000-square-metre rooftop space of the factory building is completed.
Teams competing in this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) will drive on the first motorsport tyres to feature Enliten technology. Furthermore, one of the tyre specifications that Bridgestone custom designed for the 1,860-mile (3,000 km) route through Australia contains 63 per cent recycled and renewable materials.
The world’s largest rooftop solar panel installation on a single facility, according to Internal KEPCO Research, is being installed at Falken’s parent company (Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ – SRI) factory in Thailand.
It’s hard not to love a superlative, so thanks to Sumitomo Rubber Industries for sharing that its tyre factory in Thailand now possesses the world’s largest rooftop solar panel array. As of 1 February 2023, the set-up at the Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) plant is the world’s largest rooftop solar panel array installed at a single facility.
Bridgestone’s Shimonoseki and Kitakyushu tyre plants in Japan are now equipped with solar power systems. With a combined generation capacity of 5.8 MW, these systems will supply electricity to produce tyres at the two sites. Bridgestone speaks of an annual CO2 reduction of around 2,700 tonnes.
Solar rooftop panels installed upon Bridgestone’s Nong Khae plant in Thailand’s Saraburi province will directly power the tyre production process. The equipment installed at the Thai Bridgestone Co., Ltd., facility is the largest solar rooftop panel in use across the Bridgestone Group and has a total capacity of 9.95 MWp.
Having previously confirmed that tyre production would begin at the company’s Serbia factory during July, Toyo Europe executives are now specifying that tyres will begin rolling off the production line by the end of the month. When full production gets underway, the factory will be pioneering in green electricity terms since it will utilise bifiacial solar panels.
Bekaert considers the installation of a solar park within the grounds of its plant in Burgos, Spain a “significant step in progressing on the company’s sustainability ambition to reach Carbon Net Zero by 2050.” The facility at the Industrias del Ubierna SA (Ubisa) site will produce over 14 GWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 4,000 households.
In markets where green electricity is not readily available from the grid, on-site solar power generation is an important way of bridging the green energy gap. The Maxion Wheels Saraburi plant in central Thailand is the company’s first to use solar energy to decarbonise aluminium wheel production.
As reported on 18 January, Apollo Tyres Ltd. has acquired a 27.2 per cent shareholding in a renewable energy firm, Cleantech Solar subsidiary CSE Deccan Solar. The tyre maker says the reason it did so is to gain a guaranteed annual supply of 40 million units of electricity for its manufacturing facility in Chennai. CSE Deccan Solar expects to begin delivering in July 2022, and this electricity will account for around 20 per cent of the plant’s total requirements and boost the total proportion of renewable energy to more than 30 per cent.
The Sumitomo Rubber Group’s two tyre factories in the People’s Republic of China are now operating on 100 per cent renewably sourced energy. The transition to renewable was completed this month, and Sumitomo Rubber Industries says additional measures will further increase the Changshu and Hunan plants’ sustainability credentials.