Toyota Solar-Electric System Completes First Year

May 12, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

A 536 kW solar-electric system at the headquarters of Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. (Torrance, CA), furnished by PowerLight Corp. (Berkeley, CA), completed its first year of operation, greatly exceeding energy performance expectations. Toyota unveiled its new environmentally sensitive building complex last spring. The solar-electric system generates enough electricity during the daytime to power over 500 homes.

In its first year of operation, Toyota's South Campus solar-electric system has performed above projections. Since startup, the system has operated at 100-percent availability, and has produced over 100 percent of expected energy. Additionally, the new solar array has helped Toyota lower energy costs, reduce pollution and conserve natural resources. The grid-connected system reduces Toyota's electrical load, especially during peak demand times when the utility grid is the most strained and electricity is most expensive, which benefits all California utility customers.