- Toyota plans to run more than 70% of its Alabama manufacturing operations on solar power through a $49 million project with a local utility.
- Toyota Alabama, Toyota Tsusho America, and Huntsville Utilities last week announced a power purchase agreement to support a 168-acre facility that will generate 62,000 megawatt hours a year, reducing about 22,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
- The solar facility is expected to begin generating power in the summer of 2024. Toyota has a goal of achieving carbon neutrality within its operations by 2035.
Toyota has invested around $1.5 billion in its Alabama plant since it became operational in 2003. Last April, Toyota announced it was investing $222 million to expand the 1.3 million-square-foot facility for the sixth time to create a new production line for four-cylinder engines, including a hybrid electric version.
The 114,000-square-foot expansion, which will enable the company to build 900,000 engines annually, is expected to be completed this fall, a Toyota spokesperson told Manufacturing Dive in an email.
As the automaker grows operations in Alabama, the solar facility will help Toyota toward its goal of carbon-neutral operations.
"Toyota is taking a transparent, science-based approach to address climate change," Jason Puckett, president of Toyota Alabama, said in a statement. "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."
Toyota Tsusho America's energy infrastructure solution team will oversee the project's construction, which is anticipated to begin this spring. They will also be responsible for operations when the facility opens.
Other solar companies have moved into Alabama as manufacturers look for ways to make operations more sustainable. Last year, First Solar announced plans to build a $1.1 billion photovoltaic solar module manufacturing facility in Alabama to scale up production capacity in the U.S.