Honda Installs Large Solar Array at its California Campus

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【Summary】Just last week, Honda flipped the switch on its all-new solar system, located on top of its Torrance, California building.

Mia Bevacqua    Jul 01, 2018 4:00 PM PT

It's clear Honda is serious about sustainability. The automaker has both battery electric and fuel-cell vehicles – and now, it has a gigantic solar array on top of its campus in Torrance, California. 

All-new solar power in So-Cal

Last Thursday, Honda turned on this massive sun-powered system for the first time. The array is one of the largest in Southern California, rated at 2.0 megawatts of DC current. It features 6,000 panels and is expected to generate more than 3,000-megawatt hours annually. 

The solar system will replace approximately 30 percent of the facility's purchased electricity. Plus, it will provide 100% of the location's EV charging power. For maximum efficiency, a cloud-based system matches vehicle charging with solar generation. 

Three large lithium-ion batteries (one 1,000 kWh and two 200 kWh) are connected in parallel with the solar array. These units serve as energy storage devices that smooth out changes in grid power generation and usage. 

"Installing the solar and battery system on Honda's Torrance campus is a win-win-win solution that will help Honda reach its renewable energy goals, save money and reduce CO2 emissions," said Ryan Harty, manager of Connected and Environmental Business Development and Engineering at American Honda. "Charging electric vehicles with sunshine is also very satisfying for our associates. The transition to renewable energy and electric transportation go hand-in-hand."

Other sustainable energy projects 

Honda is implementing other renewable energy projects as well.

For example, the company recently installed a DC microgrid at its parts distribution center in Chino, California. The system is the largest in the Northern part of the state, allowing the building to use and store 300 kW of solar power. This energy is used to power loads such as LED lighting, forklift charging, and more. A 546 kWh lithium-ion battery is linked to the grid for reliable power and increased efficiency. 

In addition to the DC microgrid, the Chino location also has a 1.0-megawatt solar array, which was completed in 2016. The system provides more than 1,400-megawatt hours of energy every year. 

Honda predicts on-site solar power will provide 100% of the electricity at the Chino center. Obviously, that figure will meet California's 2030 Zero Net Energy Commercial Building goal.

The Japanese automaker has been moving towards renewable energy for a while. In 2015, it installed solar panels at its parts distribution center in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. It also has Two wind turbines at a transmission plant in Russells Point, Ohio

All the of these efforts are part of the company's "Blue Skies for our Children," vision. The program's goal is to reduce company CO2 emissions by 50 percent before the year 2050, compared to the year 2000.

Source: Honda 

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