Toyota’s sales and marketing headquarters campus in Torrance, California is set to start drawing power and heat from a 1 megawatt fuel system soon. According to Vancouver, Canada based Ballard Power Systems, it will be providing Toyota with one of its CLEARgen fuel cell systems, which will reportedly run on biogas captured from a local landfill.
Ballard says its 1 megawatt fuel cell will be used to provide power to several locations on the 15 building, 125 acre campus, including the Toyota and Lexus headquarters building, a data center building and the employee fitness center. Ballard estimates the use of the fuel cell will result in lower use of peak grid power and help avoid the generation of up to 10,00 tons of CO2 emissions anually.
Power isn’t the only energy the fuel cell will be providing, either. Heat generated by the fuel cell will also be used to provide hot water and space heating in the Toyota employee activity center and in the Lexus headquarter building. The heat will effectively offset natural gas use and is estimated to help avoid up to an additional 28 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Presently, Ballard expects the system to be commissioned at Toyota’s campus, which houses some 5,000 employees, sometime in 2012. The effort builds on other “think green” efforts by the car company, including a zero waste to landfill effort commissioned in 2007.