Toray Plastics (America), Inc., (www.TorayFilms.com), has completed the construction of a $2 million, 445 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) farm on its 70-acre campus in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The new, three-acre solar farm is the largest in the state, consists of 1,650 PV panels, and will generate 625 megawatt hours (MW h) a year, curbing escalating energy costs and reducing CO2 emissions by 340 tons per year. On September 29, Rick Schloesser, President and CEO, Toray Plastics, hosted the inauguration ceremony and officially launched the highly efficient renewable-energy system. In attendance to celebrate the achievement were Lincoln D. Chafee, Governor of Rhode Island; M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Senate President; Laurence W. Erhardt, Representative, District 32, North Kingstown; Keith Stokes, Executive Director, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation; David M. Dooley, President, the University of Rhode Island; Mr. Toru Fukasawa, Chief Representative of Toray Americas, and Toray employees. Governor Chafee congratulated Toray on its environmental consciousness, its role as a “great corporate citizen,” and its commitment to manufacturing in Rhode Island and for creating good jobs for state residents. Chafee also said he would like to see the kind of growth in manufacturing and renewable-energy applications that Toray has achieved spread across the state. He concluded his remarks by stating, “We’re proud to have you here and keep up the good work.” Toray Plastics (America), Inc., is the only United States manufacturer of precision-performance polypropylene, polyester, and bio-based films for packaging and industrial applications and one of Rhode Island’s premier employers.
Schloesser said that it was an exciting day for Toray as the company began harnessing the power of the sun. “This farm has been a dream of Toray Plastics America, and a personal one of mine, for the past three years. Its completion is a tribute to how government and business can come together to work toward a mutual goal.” Schloesser told the guests that Toray launched a major sustainability initiative in 2004 that enabled the company to achieve its goal of producing zero landfill waste, among many other significant benefits, to improve its environmental profile. He also noted that Toray’s clean-energy project came to fruition as a result of the vision, talent, and dedication of Toray employees.
Funding for the solar farm was provided by Toray, grants from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s Renewable Energy fund, and state and federal grants made possible by the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Energy conservation is fundamental to the well-being of Toray’s business. By choosing solar energy as part of its energy strategy, the company further strengthens its position in the marketplace, enhances its relationship with the community, and reduces its carbon footprint.