Toyota Going Co-Gen to Save (Maintain?) Energy at Its Japanese Facilities
8 new_NG fueled generators should reduce outside power purchases and improve reliability.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - July 6, 2012
Last spring Toyota and British Gas threw the switch on a 17,000 solar panel site that is expected to save the company an equivalent of 4.6 GWh – roughly the power needed to build 7,000 cars or just over 5% of the total at its Toyota Motor Manufacturing United Kingdom (TMUK) plant site in Burnaston. Today the company is prepping for something little more ambitious for their production facilities in Japan and soon the world.
Toyota plans to install eight additional cogeneration gas power generators this summer as it bids to reduce energy costs and further enhance electricity supply-and-demand efficiency at all TMC plants. In addition, the company is installing a new Toyota Total Demand Management (TTDM) system for further enhancing electricity supply-and-demand efficiency at all their production facilities. These measures will enable Toyota to reduce its electricity use by up to five percent.
Toyota’s most recent efforts to save electricity were surely the result of the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami taking out a large percentage of the island nations electrical production capacity. The disaster forced many manufacturers to halt production for months with the resultant loss of production of everything from automobiles to wood products and everything in between.
According to the company, implementation of current programs have reduced peak power purchases by some 35 percent and a 45 percent reduction in total annual purchases of electricity in the fiscal year ended March 30, 2011 compared to the fiscal year ended March 30, 1996. In the current fiscal year, Toyota plans to achieve further reductions accounting for a 40 percent in peak power purchases and an overall lessening of electrical power purchases by an amazing 53 percent! Toyota is a lot larger company today than it was in 1996 too!
Toyota’s energy use-and-supply management efforts include the following:
The company also intends to pursue new energy-management systems that center on individual plants. These include the first implementation of the F-Grid Concept project aimed at realizing a "smart community", with the Second North Sendai Central Industrial Area playing a central role, and the Smart Factory initiative now underway at Kitakyushu Plant of Toyoda Gosei, Co., Ltd.
All told, it is not just power savings but company survival given what Japan Inc. went through during the natural disasters. Adding to the bottom line while increasing reliability is a good thing and other Asian, North American, European and Australian plants are sure to follow.
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