Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Alabama is making changes to its power source. More than 70% of its power will soon be generated by the sun.
Huntsville Utilities, Toyota Alabama, and Toyota Tsusho America (TAI) announced a power purchase agreement (PPA) to support a 168-acre, $49 million solar project.
A solar power system with a capacity of 30 megawatts will be in the North Huntsville Industrial Park, which encompasses the Toyota engine plant.
Its annual energy generation is estimated to be 62,000-megawatt hours, resulting in a reduction of roughly 22,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
This quantity of solar power is sufficient to power over 5,600 homes in the United States. By implementing this project, the automaker is advancing toward its objective of achieving carbon neutrality in its operations by 2035.
“Toyota is taking a transparent, science-based approach to address climate change,” said Jason Puckett, president of Toyota Alabama. “By relying on the sun to power our operations, we will reduce our carbon footprint and create a model of environmental stewardship in North Alabama.”
TAI’s Energy Infrastructure Solutions team led the project’s development and will manage the construction, scheduled to begin this spring. As the owner of the solar facility, they will be responsible for long-term operations.
A New Era of Clean Energy
The PPA with Huntsville Utilities marks a new era of clean energy production for the municipal utility company. Through its long-term agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), this facility will be the largest flexibility project in the region, pioneering a shift in TVA’s relationship with local power companies across the Tennessee River Valley.
“Huntsville Utilities is constantly looking for opportunities to innovate and enhance the nature in which we serve our community,” said Wes Kelley, president of Huntsville Utilities.
“Due to our collaboration with Toyota, TAI and TVA, we are helping shape the future for communities and companies in the region and beyond. We are both proud and thankful to be a part of this project with Toyota.”
The solar facility is scheduled to begin generating solar energy in the summer of 2024.
Since Toyota Alabama started production in 2003, the plant has expanded six times and represents a $1.5 billion investment. In 2022, Toyota Alabama’s 1,900 employees assembled more than 665,000 engines and hybrid engines. The plant supplies engines for popular Toyota vehicles such as the Tundra, Corolla Cross, and Sienna.