Installation of an 8.79-MW solar generation system is underway at Toyota Motor North America’s new headquarters in Plano, Texas, the automaker announced on April 10.
SunPower is deploying more than 20,000 solar panels at the new headquarters, which Toyota expects to occupy later this year. Close to 1-MW larger than the 7.75-MW system originally planned, it is expected to be the Lone Star State’s largest corporate office on-site solar installation among non-utility companies.
The panels are going up on steel carport structures across the top of four parking garages – an area equal to 10 football fields, offering shade and protection to vehicles underneath. The system is expected to generate enough clean energy to offset approximately 33 percent of the headquarters’ energy needs, reducing Toyota’s reliance on traditional electricity from the grid.
As a result of 14 years of partnership, SunPower solar power systems are currently operating at a number of Toyota facilities nationwide:
- Since 2009, a 1.5-MW SunPower solar power system has been operating at Toyota’s facility in West Caldwell, New Jersey.
- In 2008, at the Toyota North American parts center in Ontario, California, SunPower installed a 2.3-MW system that produces more than 3.7 million kWh 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, California, 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.
Toyota is financing the SunPower solar project installed at its Plano, Texas, location through a power purchase agreement (PPA) arranged by SunPower, which allows Toyota to buy power at competitive rates – acting as a hedge against future utility rate increases – with no upfront capital cost. Toyota will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system.