Toyota Turns To Solar Power In Altona

Mike Stevens | Jun 4, 2014

Toyota’s Australian manufacturing program may now have an expiry date, but from this week it will be a greener operation.

Come tomorrow, on World Environment Day, Toyota will flick the switch on a new solar panel array at its Altona plant in Victoria.

Partially funded by the Federal Government’s now defunct Clean Technology Investment Fund, the system has been in the works for more than a year - before Toyota had decided to pull the pin on manufacturing in Australia.

The 500kW system was installed by Sydney group Autonomous Energy and features 2000 solar panels sourced from Japanese company Kyocera. The array covers 10,000m2 of roof space.

The system is Victoria’s largest largest rooftop solar array and, according to Toyota Australia engineer Mario Como, is also the first in Australia to connect directly with an industrial facility’s own high-voltage network through a single inverter and transformer.

“As a manufacturer we acknowledge that we are a high-energy user, which is why Toyota globally is committed to leading the way with environmental research and technologies,” Toyota Australia boss Dave Buttner said.

“We are still building cars and engines in Australia until the end of 2017 so it is important that we continue to engage in new programs that minimise our carbon footprint.”

“The solar panel system will not only assist us in reducing energy consumption, but it will also improve our already strong environmental performance and reduce our electricity costs over the next few years.”

Autonomous Energy says the system will produce enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 200 homes.

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Filed under: Toyota, manufacturing, News, energy, industry, mike stevens, solar

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  • martin says,
    7 months ago
    2 likes
    solar panels are of great interest, but as soon as i saw the word Toyota, i lost all interest laugh
  • jing713 says,
    7 months ago
    1 like
    Good on them smile
  • Steve says,
    7 months ago
    3 likes
    I hear another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to shut down manufacturing all together? smile
  • markwa says,
    7 months ago
    1 like
    Love solar and all new homes/industrial buildings should have it as a mandatory thing but will this set up pay for itself in the time left in Aus or is it another huge tax write off?
  • hammer
    Hammer says,
    7 months ago
    2 likes
    If the government is serious about clean energy, it should incorporate a requirement for each new commercial building (including tall office buildings) be powered by solar. Or have a living roof concept. Think of all the real estate tall buildings have where solar panels can go, or have huge rooftop gardens.
    • hammer
      Hammer says,
      7 months ago
      1 like
      Slight correction... I should have stated "partially powered by solar".
      • noah_73 says,
        7 months ago
        This government isn't serious about clean energy.
    • Steve says,
      7 months ago
      If the government can't put a tax on it, then they're not interested...

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