Toyota is planning on moving its North America headquarters from California to Texas next year.
A change in location is not the only major change the company is making. The new building will be solar powered. The company is planning on installing a 7.75 megawatt solar panel system that is expected to provide the building with 25 percent of its electricity needs.
Now 25 percent may not sound like much, but a system of this size is capable of removing more than 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. The solar panel system will also help Toyota achieve Platinum LEED Certification.
Kevin Butt, Regional Director, North American Environmental Division for Toyota had this to say about the company’s utilization of solar – “We are dedicated to making sure our new headquarters campus supports – even redefines – Toyota’s commitment to the environment. The Plano solar system will not only reduce our environmental footprint and educate team members about renewable energy, it moves us closer to Toyota’s 2050 global environmental challenge to eliminate carbon emissions in all operations.”
The first phase of the installation will involved solar panels on two parking structures by August of 2017. The second and final phase will entail an installation on an additional parking structure to be built by December of 2017.
It is expected that the new 2.1 million square foot headquarters will be open sometime in early 2017. It will employ as many as 4,000 people with an additional 1,000 contractors.
While commercial solar has struggled in comparison to residential and utility-scale solar of late, this story portends a sign that this will change sooner than later. It will not be surprising to witness a surge in new commercial solar installs in the near future.
Business owners can take advantage of the federal tax incentive, any local state rebates, and a lower cost per watt than residential users. In addition to that, they can benefit from accelerated depreciation to further increase their potential return on investment.
Solar power is increasingly becoming a wise business decision. We can expect to see more companies go solar to save money and improve their public image by doing their part to decrease carbon dioxide emissions.