A Lamar Buffalo Ranch energy system combining solar-power generation with re-used Camry Hybrid battery packs is now up and running, which will improve energy efficiency and renewable energy production.
The new Lamar Buffalo Ranch energy system replaces the old power system that included a solar energy system installed in 1996. The Lamar Buffalo Ranch is located approximately 10 miles from the nearest electric service, and many of the previous components are at the end of their useful life, while buildings are not energy efficient. The new system is the result of a partnership between Toyota, Indy Power Systems, Sharp USA SolarWorld, Patriot Solar, National Park Service and Yellowstone Park Foundation.
Solar panels generate the renewable electricity stored within the 208 used Camry Hybrid nickel-metal hydride battery packs, recovered from Toyota dealers across the United States.
“Through our long-standing partnership with Yellowstone National Park and the Yellowstone Park Foundation, Toyota has helped preserve Yellowstone for future generations,” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer, Toyota North America. “Today, our relationship with Yellowstone continues, as more than 200 battery packs that once powered Toyota Camry hybrids have found a new home on the range.”
According to a press release announcing the installation, the Yellowstone system is the first of its kind to use recovered hybrid vehicle batteries for commercial energy storage. Each battery pack has been disassembled and tested, and every piece that could be was repurposed. New components were also designed and built by Indy Power Systems specifically for this application, including an onboard battery management system for each battery pack. The battery management system is designed to maximize battery life and will also provide important insights into real-world performance. These insights will help Toyota design future battery performance and durability improvements.
“As exemplified by the Lamar Buffalo Ranch project, Toyota’s mission-driven philanthropic focus and expertise in sustainability will make a difference in Yellowstone for generations to come,” said Karen Bates Kress, president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation.