Solar Project Exceeds First Year Expectations

The solar electric system atop the nation’s largest green office complex — at the headquarters of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., — is greatly exceeding energy performance expectations, according to the project developer.

Torrance, California – May 14, 2004 [] Last spring, Toyota unveiled its new environmentally sensitive building complex, which received a Gold Level Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. A key component of Toyota’s South Campus was the deployment of one of the largest commercial solar electric systems in North America. The solar electric system, designed and installed by PowerLight Corporation, 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% availability, and has produced over 100% 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. “At Toyota, we operate under a global earth charter that promotes environmental responsibility in every aspect of our business,” said Sanford Smith, Corporate Real Estate and Facilities Manager for Toyota. “Our new green headquarters complex is an example of that commitment. It makes sense to include this clean renewable energy source as a key part of the project.” Toyota’s South Campus complex, the largest ever to receive a LEED Gold rating, has 624,000 square feet of office space and houses about 2,500 Toyota associates. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. (TMS) is the sales, marketing, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota and Lexus in the United States, marketing products and services through a network of nearly 1,400 Toyota and Lexus dealers in 49 states.
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