Clearway Energy Group (Clearway) announced today that it has signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) to support Clearway’s 100 MW Wildflower Solar project in DeSoto County, Mississippi. Toyota will purchase the majority of the electricity the project will generate, 80 MW, to replace the high emission electricity used in its operations with zero emissions renewable electricity on the grid. Wildflower is scheduled to begin operations in 2023 and is located in proximity to Toyota’s manufacturing facility within the state.
The Wildflower project marks the second VPPA between Clearway and Toyota in as many years, building upon the agreement that TMNA signed for the Black Rock wind farm now nearing completion in Grant County, West Virginia. That project is also located near another of Toyota’s manufacturing facilities.
“We are excited to once again partner with Toyota to support their ambitious net-zero goals,” said Valerie Wooley, vice president of origination at Clearway. “Additionally, we’re as equally excited to be partnering with them again in the local communities where we work and live, helping create healthier communities and growing the local economy.”
The Wildflower VPPA portion Toyota will purchase is expected to generate electric power equal to approximately 8% of what Toyota takes off the grid for its domestic energy use in North America.
“Toyota continues to aggressively shift to renewable energy sources for our operations while also working to improve the lives of the people in communities where we work and live, all a part of our efforts toward carbon neutrality,” said Kevin Butt, regional environmental sustainability director at Toyota Motor North America.
The Wildflower project adds to other solar and wind projects and VPPAs that Toyota has pursued to accomplish one of its global Environmental Challenge 2050 goals – to eliminate all carbon emissions from its operations. Toyota Motor Corporation issued the challenge as a set of six goals where the ultimate goal is achieving a positive net impact on society. Separate from the VPPA signed this time with Clearway, Toyota has shown its commitment to renewable energy with on-site solar energy generation and has been identified as one of the top 20 corporate users of installed onsite solar capacity in the U.S., according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
During peak construction, Wildflower will create hundreds of jobs and generate millions of dollars in spending in the local community. The site will also utilize several permanent operations and maintenance jobs. During the life of the project, Wildflower Solar will provide $10 million to DeSoto County through tax revenues, supporting area public services as well as an additional nearly $14 million for Mississippi public schools. The project will generate enough clean energy to power nearly 16,500 homes each year.