SunPower Corp. and Toyota announced recently that SunPower is designing and plans to construct a 7.75-megawatt solar power system at Toyota’s new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, which the auto maker plans to occupy next year. Expected to generate 25 percent of the headquarters’ total electricity demand, the system is anticipated to be the largest corporate office on-site solar installation among non-utility companies in the state of Texas.
The project will be comprised of three solar carport structures using high efficiency SunPower® solar panels. Two of the carports will each have a 2.45-megawatt capacity, and are planned to be operational mid-year 2017. The third, 2.83-megawatt solar carport is expected to be delivering power for the Toyota campus by end-of-year 2017.
Compared to conventional solar panels, SunPower solar panels produce 45 percent more power from the same space in the first year of operation, which will allow Toyota to maximize the clean, renewable solar power generated on site. SunPower’s direct current panels are also the world’s first and only solar panels to achieve the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver designation for the sustainable practices used in their manufacturing.
Toyota is integrating a range of energy efficient technologies and sustainable materials into the design of its state-of-the-art campus, with the intention of achieving USGBC Platinum LEED Certification for the facility. High efficiency, Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver SunPower solar panels may offer Toyota a significant advantage toward achieving that goal.
“We are dedicated to making sure our new headquarters campus supports – even redefines – Toyota’s commitment to the environment,” said Kevin Butt, regional director, North American Environmental Division, Toyota. “The Plano solar system will not only reduce our environmental footprint and educate team members about renewable energy, it moves us closer to Toyota’s 2050 global environmental challenge to eliminate carbon emissions in all operations.”
“Toyota products are valued for innovation and reliability, and the company clearly has a strong commitment to sustainability. These are features that also differentiate SunPower and our technology, resulting in a powerful synergy between our two organizations,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “SunPower is proud that our high-performance solar carport technology will be generating emission-free power at Toyota’s new headquarters, raising the bar for corporate solar leadership in Texas and beyond.”
SunPower solar power systems are currently operating a number of Toyota facilities in the U.S.:
In 2008, at the Toyota North American parts center in Ontario, Calif., SunPower installed a 2.3-megawatt system that produces more than 3.7 million kilowatt hours per year, providing up to 58 percent of the electricity needed at the facility. At the time of completion, it was the second largest single-rooftop solar array in North America.
Toyota’s South Campus headquarters building in Torrance, Calif. was one of the largest privately funded systems of its kind when it opened in 2003. Also built by SunPower, the system covers 53,000 square feet of rooftop.
Since 2009, a 1.5-megawatt SunPower solar power system has been operating at Toyota’s facility in West Caldwell, New Jersey.
Toyota estimates that the SunPower system installed at its new headquarters will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 7122 metric tons, or the equivalent of almost 1,000 homes electricity usage for a year, and will position Toyota as the leader among auto companies in U.S. for installed solar power.