Toyota and Dow are pursuing agreements with Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) to purchase renewable energy from a planned 100-megawatt solar array for their facilities in the state.
Both utilities said that they had filed for approval of the contracts with the Kentucky Public Service Commission. One contract is with Toyota Kentucky in Georgetown, the largest Toyota manufacturing facility in the world. Another contract is with Dow for the chemical manufacturing company’s silicones manufacturing site in Carrollton.
A third contract is between the utilities and IBV Energy Partners’ Rhudes Creek Solar to supply local electric customers. The new solar photovoltaic facility planned for Hardin County should be completed by 2022. Once built, it’s expected to become the largest solar generator in the state, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
“The utilities will supply Toyota with 50% of the facility’s energy output, Dow with 25%, and the remaining 25% will be used to serve the utilities’ electric customers,” LG&E and KU said. “The 20-year contracts lock in a flat price per kilowatt hour that is expected to translate into cost savings for customers over the life of the agreements.”
Edward Stones, global director of Dow’s energy and climate change business, said that the agreement brings the company closer to its global 2025 goal of securing at least 750 MW of renewable energy.
For Toyota, which previously rolled out bioenergy for its Georgetown plant, the new solar project in Kentucky also connects with the automaker’s environmental goals. “It supports Challenge 3 of the global Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 to eliminate all carbon emissions from manufacturing by the middle of the century,” said Kevin Butt, director of environmental sustainability for Toyota Motor North America.