In under six months, SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) completed the installation of a Texas-sized, 8.79-megawatt solar system spanning across four parking garages at Toyota Motor North America’s new 100-acre headquarters in Plano, Texas. SunPower was also responsible for the original design of the solar system.
“Toyota’s new campus serves as a model for corporate sustainability and an inspiration for others looking to reduce their own carbon emissions and environmental footprints,” said Nam Nguyen, SunPower executive vice president. “With SunPower’s carport solutions, our experienced design and construction teams delivered long-span, garage top solar canopies that fully incorporate the Plano site’s unique structural conditions. As the trusted solar partner for 70 percent of the top 20 commercial solar users nationwide, SunPower is proud to work with a world-class company like Toyota on this groundbreaking project.”
The solar installation marks an important step toward meeting Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to eliminate carbon emissions in the company’s operations. Toyota demonstrates an increasing trend of growing renewable energy investment among corporations, as reaffirmed by an Apex Clean Energy and GreenBiz 2017 State of Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement report. According to the report, 84 percent of large corporate respondents plan to be active in the renewable energy market within the next decade to meet sustainability goals.
In an effort to achieve LEED® Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC), Toyota designed its campus for sustainability, focusing on energy planning for emissions reduction, sustainable landscaping and repurposed rain water for water conservation, and recycling.
To meet its goals in energy planning, Toyota selected SunPower to install more than 20,000 of its high-efficiency E-Series solar panels that produce 30 percent more energy from the same space over the first 25 years when compared to conventional solar panels. SunPower® E-Series panels are Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver which demonstrates a product’s quality based on rankings in five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social fairness. By installing E-Series panels, Toyota is not only able to meet approximately 33 percent of its on-site energy needs with solar, but the company also had a significant advantage in reaching its LEED® Platinum goal, achieved for its new campus as announced just last month. Cradle to Cradle certification helps maximize the number of LEED credits that could be earned for a solar system. On typical commercial projects, SunPower panels help contribute up to 35 percent of the credits required for LEED certification.
“At Toyota, we demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, our culture of respect, and continuous improvement in everything that we do, whether its designing a new car or our new campus,” said Doug Beebe, general manager of Toyota’s real estate and facilities/corporate security and fire services for North America. “Thanks in part to SunPower and their products and capabilities, Toyota’s headquarters campus achieved LEED Platinum certification – something that we know our team and community are proud of.”
At 8.79 megawatts, Toyota’s system is the Lone Star State’s largest corporate office on-site solar installation among non-utility companies, and Toyota’s fourth solar project completed with SunPower. For more on Toyota’s holistic sustainability efforts, see SunPower’s Business Feed article here.
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