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Bentley to build UK's largest solar-powered car port

Its 10,000 panels will generate up to 2.7 megawatts of power.

This is just a rendering, but I can't imagine much will change when it's actually built. I just feel bad for the small handful of cars that didn't arrive early enough to park under cover.

Car ports are pretty simple -- just put a roof over a place where a car is parked. But why rely on a regular roof when you can use solar panels that actually produce a benefit?

Bentley announced on Tuesday that it intends to construct the UK's largest solar-powered car port at its factory headquarters in Crewe. Comprising some 10,000 solar panels, the car port will generate up to 2.7 megawatts of power each day, which is estimated to cover about 24 percent of Bentley's electricity requirements and could replace 3,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

The solar car port will cover 1,378 parking spaces and protect employees' cars from the elements. Bentley isn't in charge of building the whole thing -- it's farmed out that responsibility to FlexiSolar, a company that specializes in solar-powered car ports. The project has additional backing from Innovate UK, a government agency established to support next-gen science and tech.

This isn't Bentley's first foray into solar power. The automaker already has 20,815 solar panels installed atop its factory, which can generate up to 5 megawatts and cover another 40 percent of Bentley's energy requirements. That project was announced in 2013.

Volkswagen Group, which includes Bentley, is making an effort to green up its facilities across the board. Back in March, Audi announced that its upcoming E-Tron electric SUV will be built in a carbon-neutral facility that will have 95 percent of its production efforts covered by renewable energies. The final 5 percent is covered with additional projects that offset any carbon footprint.