Picture of the Week: World’s largest rooftop solar panel installation at Falken tyre plant – The size of over 18 football pitches

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The largest solar rooftop installation on a single facility will generate solar power to manufacture Falken tyres for Europe and contribute to total annual CO2 emissions reduction of 38,000 tonnes

The world’s largest rooftop solar panel installation on a single facility, measuring 100,000 square metres – the size of over 18 football pitches – is under construction for Falken at parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) factory in Thailand.

Comprising 40,000 solar panels with a total output of 22mW, the new installation will generate enough solar power to support manufacturing a range of Falken tyres destined for Europe, once completed in January 2025. The investment in the new solar panel installation, along with gas co-generation system and biomass electric power system energy initiatives at the Rayong Province facility will enable it ultimately to use 100 percent renewable energy.

As well as adopting solar power, a new gas co-generation system, comprising two 6.6mW boilers, powered by renewable energy sources, will replace energy supplied by local utility companies. Biomass, derived from the surplus branches and trunks after rubber trees are harvested, as part of SRI’s Sustainable Natural Rubber programme, will provide additional electrical power.

In total, the new initiatives will reduce total annual CO2 emissions by 38,000 tonnes.

Driven by SRI’s long-term sustainability policy, ‘Driving Our Future Challenge 2050’ the latest initiatives will help accelerate its carbon neutral goals. This aims to reduce annual Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 50 percent (compared to 2017 emissions) with its 2030 target now set to be achievable one year ahead of schedule.