It might not be the sunshine state, but Texas gets its fair share of sun. And when Toyota moves into its new North American headquarters next year, the automaker plans to “catch a ray.”Enter Toyota’s Plano solar power system. The approximately 7.75-megawatt system will be the largest corporate office on-site solar installation among non-utility companies in the state of Texas. In total, the system is expected to provide approximately 25 percent of the power needed for the new headquarters campus. This installation is just one example of Toyota’s environmental efforts to achieve the goal of USGBC Platinum LEED Certification for the state-of-the-art campus.
Current plans call for the system to be completed in phases. Phase one will cover two parking structures – approximately 2.45 megawatts per garage – and comes online by August 2017. The final installation, located on a third parking structure, is slated for December 2017 and will produce about 2.83 megawatts.“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. “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.”
The Plano solar array will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7122 metric tons, or the equivalent of almost 1,000 homes electricity usage for a year, and position Toyota as the leader among auto companies in U.S. for installed solar power.
Additional Toyota solar installations in the United States:
Toyota has previously demonstrated leadership in solar installation. In 2008, at the Toyota North American parts center in Ontario, Calif., a 2.3-megawatt system 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. The system covers 53,000 square feet of rooftop.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (Blue Springs) features a single axis solar cell array, installed in 2013, that produces a maximum output of 50 kilowatts. The power generated by the array is redirected back to New Albany Light, Gas & Water, the local utility company, and ultimately transferred back onto the grid for public use.
The Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama engine plant (in Huntsville) features two solar systems – a 16-kilowatt (KW) system and a 5-KW system that was Toyota’s first at a U.S. plant. The smaller unit gives 5 kilowatts of power back to the grid.
In addition, at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone National Park, Toyota partnered on an innovative system that combines solar power generation with re-used Camry Hybrid battery packs, providing sustainable, zero emission power to a ranger station and education center.