Toyota Turns Parts Center Roof Into Giant Solar Installation

Illustration for article titled Toyota Turns Parts Center Roof Into Giant Solar Installation

Solar Prius? That's amateur. Toyota has opted to create a 242,000 square-foot solar installation on the roof of its North American Parts Center in Ontario, California. The installation, which will be the largest single-roof installation in North America, will provide about 3.7 million kWh of juice, about 60% of the power needs for the parts center. Toyota also has a solar installation on one of its headquarters buildings in Torrance, helping the company polish its green cred and distracting from the future lithium-ion waste site that will be generated by scrapped Priuses. Press release after the jump.

Largest Single-Roof Solar Installation In North America To Power Toyota Parts Center 09/24/2008 September 24, 2008 - Portland, OR - The largest single-roof solar power installation in North America will begin operation in early October at Toyota's North America Parts Center California (NAPCC), located in Ontario, Calif. The solar installation will provide nearly 60 percent of the total electricity requirements for the 760,000-square foot NAPCC. The installation covers more than 242,000 square-feet of the NAPCC's roof and includes 10,417 solar modules, enough to cover more than four football fields. With a total capacity of 2.3 megawatts, the installation is capable of generating 3.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, power that won't be drained from the electrical grid. The system also will avoid carbon dioxide emissions of about 6.4 million pounds annually, equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from energy use of 255 homes. "Toyota's Earth Charter challenges the company to pursue all possible environmental technologies in the pursuit of sustainable mobility," said Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "That extends the company's environmental responsibilities beyond products to include our manufacturing plants and other facilities where sustainable and renewable energy sources such as solar power are increasingly important." NAPCC electricity costs per kilowatt-hour have increased 266 percent since 1992. Facility energy conservation efforts have reduced electricity usage by 28.5 percent during the past five years, but annual electricity use still remains over 5,788,000 kilowatt-hours. The system was designed and built by SunPower, using its high-efficiency panels that deliver 50 percent more power per unit than conventional panels. A lightweight state-of-the-art SunPower mounting system further maximizes power delivery. The NAPCC is not Toyota's first foray into solar power. The company's South Campus headquarters building in Torrance, Calif., featured 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.


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Rob Emslie

How do they expect America to achieve energy independence if they keep on insisting on importing energy from the sun?