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Waiting for the sun: Toyota's Texas HQ to utilize 25 percent solar power

Its 7.75-megawatt system stands to become the largest on-site solar installation of any corporate office in Texas.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok

We all know that age-old Texas adage: "Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer." Wait, no, that's not the one. "Everything is bigger in Texas." There we go. It appears that doesn't just include land mass, steak and hat size, not if Toyota has anything to say about it. In the battle to earn LEED Platinum certification, its new Texas headquarters will include a Texas-sized helpin' of solar panels.

By the end of 2017, there should be three massive solar farms atop three parking garages at Toyota HQ in Plano, Texas. The three will combine to produce a whopping 7.75-megawatt output, which is enough energy to account for 25 percent of the headquarters' use. Each parking structure will contribute between 2.45 and 2.83 megawatts.

Along with reducing the need for grid power, these solar installations will help the environment in other ways. Toyota estimates that Plano's solar panels will cut down carbon dioxide emissions by more than 7,000 metric tons per year, which is the equivalent of the annual output of 1,000 homes.

"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," said Kevin Butt, Toyota's regional director for its environmental division, in a statement. That's one hell of a lofty goal, but efforts like this move the company closer to that result.