A Dutch Toyota dealer has set up an impressive solar array to power his store, and plans to use Toyota Prius hybrid batteries to house the surplus energy.
While the plans use the Prius batteries are still tentative, the Louwman Hague Toyota store does have approximately 1,000 solar panels on the roof of the dealership, generating clean energy to keep the lights on. Similar efforts have happened here in the U.S., most recently a Honda dealer in New Jersey that uses zero net energy thanks to its solar array.
What is most interesting about this story is potential use of refurbished Prius batteries. As green as hybrid and electric cars are, one of the biggest issues is what to do with the spent battery packs. There are recycle programs in action, but a better second use is a project like this, where the depleted-but-still functional batteries can provide a cheap means of storing excess power from the solar array. That way, when the sun is obscured, the store still has plenty of power.
As hybrid and electric cars begin to take a larger bite out of the automotive market, the demand for re-purposing their battery packs in a green and sustainable way will increase. This Dutch Toyota dealership is without a doubt an indication of things to come.
Source: Autoblog Green