Toyota to invest $27 million to cut energy costs at Ontario plant

Thursday May 15, 2014
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC) says it will launch a $27-million Combined Heat and Power [CHP] initiative at its Cambridge, Ont., plant that will help to reduce demand on the local and provincial power grids. When completed in 2015, the project will result in benefits to the environment and the community, as well as competitive cost savings for Toyota, the auto giant said.

Combined Heat and Power, or cogeneration, is the process in which a single fuel source, such as natural gas, is used to produce both electrical and thermal energy. The basic principle of cogeneration is that generating electricity produces heat; cogeneration equipment captures that heat and uses it to supply hot water, steam and space heating — even cooling.

“This project offers significant benefits to many stakeholders,” said TMMC president Brian Krinock. “For the community and the environment, it will reduce emissions and save enough energy each year to power more than 7,400 homes. For Toyota, the increased efficiency is substantial and will result in a major cost savings for our company, helping us stay competitive in the global manufacturing landscape.”

Toyota also announced plans to attach a unique community service component to the development. A greenhouse will be constructed, which will tap the heat produced by the cogeneration project to produce vegetables for local non-profit organizations.

“This is a natural extension of the Giving Garden initiative our team members started several years ago,” explained Krinock. “Now we’ll be able to support them on a year-round basis.”

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada worked closely with Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro (CND) when planning this initiative.

“This is one of the largest energy-saving initiatives in Ontario, and we are very pleased to work with Toyota,” said CND president and CEO Ian Miles. “Through this collaboration, our community will benefit from improved system reliability and avoided power generation costs. Toyota’s leadership has been pivotal to the success of working towards meeting our mandated energy and demand reduction targets.”

TMMC currently manufactures the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix, Toyota RAV4 and the Lexus RX 350 and RX450h vehicles, with two plants in Cambridge, Ont., and one plant in Woodstock, Ont. The company employs approximately 8,000 employees.

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