12 April 2007
Group Lotus plc, the high performance sports car manufacturer and world leading engineering consultancy, has joined forces with green energy company Ecotricity in its drive to minimise its carbon emissions and become genuinely green in its energy supply. Innovative engineering will now be partnered by wind energy to be the power behind the Lotus manufacturing plant in the UK. Under their Merchant Wind Power (MWP) scheme Ecotricity, the UK's largest independent green energy supplier, has submitted a request for a Scoping Opinion to South Norfolk District Council for their views on potential plans for a wind park at the Lotus Manufacturing Plant and Test Track, at Hethel near Wymondham.
The turbines could provide up to 100% of Lotus's electricity needs. Excess power will be fed into the local grid and can be used by local residents. Switching to a green energy supplier is the biggest single contribution an individual or business can make to help reverse the onslaught of climate change.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, commented: "This is an exciting project, and I'm delighted that Lotus is taking its responsibility to the environment so seriously. There are many myths about what it takes for a business to become truly green, and the Lotus wind turbine project will be an important example for other organisations. The company won't be spending any additional money on its energy supply, but will have peace of mind knowing that its all part of a growing movement to redress climate change."
Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer, of Group Lotus plc said: "Lotus is globally recognised as a pioneer in vehicle technology and is now working worldwide in environmental and green transport research. By sourcing our electricity needs for our Hethel headquarters in Norfolk from these Wind Turbines, we can contribute to reducing our corporate CO2 emissions dramatically and provide a definitive demonstration of our commitment to the environment."
Lotus has carried out extensive assessment of its premises at Hethel near Wymondham, demonstrating the potential for a wind park specifically three turbines located in the centre of the test track. The request for a scoping opinion represents the next stage in progressing the development of the site. It will seek the views and advice of all statutory bodies concerned, such as the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Defence and Natural England.
By using wind turbine generated electricity, a number of areas of Lotus will benefit from a 100% renewable energy source, such as the Lotus Cars manufacturing facility, including the assembly halls, paint shop and composite shops, the engine test facility, the computer aided design and analysis tools, project and administration offices.
A Lotus car is substantially more efficient and economical than other sports cars because its low mass gives a high power to weight ratio without the penalty of high fuel consumption. This performance through light weight philosophy is key for all Lotus vehicles. Lotus also has an extensive and diverse portfolio of green technologies. They have developed the Bio-Ethanol powered Lotus Exige 265E, and conducted extensive research in to compressed natural gas powered cars and hybrid technology. It is also working with a number of clients worldwide to engineer advanced electric vehicles.
The burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity is this country's single biggest cause of climate change, responsible for over 30% of our carbon emissions. Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity, commented: "Wind turbines are essential in the fight against climate change. The biggest thing we can all do is change where our energy comes from."
Ecotricity supplies homes and business across the UK. Switching where your electricity comes from is the single biggest thing you can do to help fight climate change and it only takes five minutes! Sign up online at www.ecotricity.co.uk or by calling the company's free switch number on 08000 302 302.
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