Toyota + Huntsville Utilities announce new $49 million solar project

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This is a rendering of the 168-acre solar project by Toyota and Huntsville Utilities. (PR Newswire)

Leave it to Huntsville to lead the way in Alabama in innovative energy projects. Toyota and Huntsville Utilities announced on Wednesday a collaboration on a $49 million solar project — a 30-megawatt solar-generated system.

Here’s more info on this massive solar project:

Read more: Toyota + Huntsville Utilities announce new $49 million solar project

Collaborating for Clean Energy

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The solar plant will surround the Toyota engine plant in the North Huntsville Industrial Park. (Toyota Alabama)

Huntsville Utilities, Toyota Alabama and Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. will collaborate on the 168-acre solar project, which will mean that more than 70 percent of Toyota Alabama’s power will come from solar energy, according to a news release issued Wednesday by Toyota North America.

Here are some more facts about the collaboration between Huntsville Utilities and Toyota:

  • The 30-megawatt solar-generated system will be located in the North Huntsville Industrial Park, surrounding the Toyota engine plant.
  • The solar facility is scheduled to begin generating solar energy in summer of 2024.
  • It is expected to generate 62,000 megawatt hours annually – reducing approximately 22,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
  • TAI’s Energy Infrastructure Solutions team led the project’s development and will manage the construction, scheduled to begin this spring.
  • This project is another step towards accomplishing the automaker’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality in its operations by 2035.

“Toyota is taking a transparent, science-based approach to address climate change. 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.”

Jason Puckett, president of Toyota Alabama

The largest flexibility project in the south

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This solar project will be the largest flexibility project in the region. (Huntsville Utilities)

The power purchase agreement between Huntsville Utilities and Toyota marks a new era of clean energy production for Huntsville Utilities. Through its long-term agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority, this new solar project 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. 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.”

Wes Kelley, president of Huntsville Utilities

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.

“Finding smart, creative solutions to climate change is an urgent and global focus for our company. Using our know-how to bring projects like this to life aligns with our goal of creating positive impacts in local communities, while also helping create pathways to a sustainable future globally.”

Naoyuki Hata, TAI president and CEO

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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