The nickel-metal hydride battery packs in Toyota Camry hybrids lose their viability as automotive power supplies after some time, but with the help of solar panels they've still got enough juice to power the Lamar Buffalo Ranch at Yellowstone National Park.
The ranch is getting a new "stationary distributed energy system" hooked up to 208 used Camry Hybrid batteries. The total-supplied output of 85 kilowatts is apparently enough electrify "six homes for one year" and more than sufficient for the needs of the five ranch buildings.
Since the ranch is a little far to run city power, tiny hydro-turbines will supplement solar panels in keeping the batteries charged.
Installation is slated to commence this fall.
Obviously, it's a great PR opportunity for Toyota... recycling the batteries at a National Park really helps drive home the look they're going for "we're environmentally friendly, get it? GET IT?" and they don't have to dump the almost-dead batteries in the ocean or however they're disposed of. (Kidding, Toyota relax).
So naturally Toyota's already working on another application for the battery thrift shop they're opening up. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama "is testing a similar project to help power their operations and provide back-up power during emergencies." and Toyota says their dealers in Japan "have been tapping into used hybrid battery packs for stationary power storage since 2013."
Image: National Parks Service