US solar panel manufacturer SunPower recently announced the start of the construction of an 8.77 MW solar energy system at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America’s new headquarters in Plano, Texas. The facility will deliver one megawatt more than originally planned.
50 certified workers will participate in the implementation of this project. This involves installing more than 20,000 high-efficiency solar panels on the steel carport structures of the four parking garages at Toyota headquarters. The energy produced should cover nearly a third of the electrical needs of the complex.
To design its campus, Toyota uses a range of energy-efficient technologies and focuses on sustainable materials to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification with a Platinum certification level.
This certification is issued by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) whose mission is to promote sustainable practices in the building and construction sector.
The photovoltaic panels used are also certified “Cradle to Cradle ™ 4 Silver”, which could provide Toyota with an important advantage in achieving its goal of creating a green and sustainable building. Note that SunPower is the only solar panel manufacturer in the world that holds such certification.
After 14 years of partnership, SunPower has been able to deploy numerous solar power systems at several Toyota locations in the United States, such as West Caldwell, New Jersey, and Toyota South Campus Headquarters in Torrance, California.
As part of this Plano project, a power purchase agreement between SunPower and Toyota has been signed. This will allow Total to purchase the electricity produced at competitive rates.