Atlanta-based solar developer Inman Solar will build a 39-MW solar project to help power Toyota’s motor factory in Alabama. Once completed, more than 70% of Toyota Alabama’s power will come from the sun.
Toyota Tsusho America Inc. (TAI) will own the system adjacent to the Toyota engine plant. The power will be sold to Huntsville Utilities through a 30-year PPA under the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Flexibility Program. Wes Kelley, president and CEO of Huntsville Utilities, said it is the first time it has bought power from anyone other than TVA.
“TVA’s willingness to get more creative and get more flexible has allowed this to happen so that we can partner with our key industry to make this a success,” Kelley said. “Huntsville Utilities will be building a new substation to harness this power and bring it into our distribution system. This power will flow throughout the Huntsville Utilities system and will benefit our ratepayers. We’ll be purchasing this power, honestly, at a rate less than what we’re currently paying TVA.”
“We are happy to see more TVA distributors take advantage of the Flexibility Program and attract investment in local distributed generation” said Otso Lehmussaari, Vice President of Inman Solar. “This type of structure is available for any TVA Local Power Company and their customers wanting to reduce their carbon footprint or simply take advantage of the lower cost energy available”.
The $49 million solar project spans 168 acres and will surround the area around the manufacturing site.
“Toyota is taking a transparent, science-based approach to address climate change,” said Jason Puckett, president of Toyota Alabama. “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.”
The construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2024 with commercial operation starting in June. All labor on the project will be paid prevailing wages and apprentices will be used to meet the requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act.
News item from Inman Solar