Opel denies allegations about illegal emissions software as the German transport ministry begins its review. Opel has turned documents over to German authorities, and promises to hold a "constructive dialogue" while answering any lingering questions, says the automaker. Opel says that "the allegations reflect a wrong understanding of how diesel engines work." As German magazine Der Spiegel renewed questions about a cheat device similar to those used by Volkswagen, Opel reiterates, "We do not have any software that recognizes whether a vehicle is undergoing an exhaust emissions test." Read more at Automotive News Europe.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye suggests that Seoul and Paris work together on the promotion of fuel cell technology. French industrial gases company Air Liquide manufactures liquid hydrogen, while Korean automaker Hyundai has already deployed its Tucson Fuel Cell crossover in select markets around the world. The two companies have signed a deal to cooperate on hydrogen technology. President Park visited an Air Liquide research center during a trip to Europe, where she said that a partnership between Hyundai and Air Liquide can help their countries stay ahead in the fuel cell vehicle market. Read more from Green Car Congress.

CARB is proposing new rules for oil and gas facilities that would reduce methane emissions by more than 50 percent. The system, treatment, operation, and device standards would apply to onshore and offshore oil and gas production, storage, processing, and transmission facilities, covering procedures for leak detection and repair, equipment replacement, record keeping, and data reporting. "Methane emissions from the oil and gas industry contribute to California's [greenhouse gas] emissions and cost-effective reduction opportunities already exist and are available for use in the sector," CARB says. "In addition, reducing methane emissions from this sector will help slow the rate of climate change in the near-term and have an immediate beneficial impact on climate change." A hearing is scheduled for July 21 to discuss the proposal. Read more from SNL.

Toyota's new Plano, Texas campus will get 25 percent of its energy from the sun. As Toyota plans to move into its new North American headquarters next year, it is building a 7.75-megawatt solar system to provide renewable energy for its operations. The solar arrays will be built atop three parking structures by the end of 2017. "The Plano solar system will not only reduce our environmental footprint and educate team members about renewable energy, it moves us closer to Toyota's 2050 global environmental challenge to eliminate carbon emissions in all operations," says Kevin Butt, Toyota's Regional Director, North American Environmental Division. Read more in the press release below.

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Toyota Is Ready to Catch Some Rays in Plano

Toyota's New Plano Campus Will Get 25 Percent of Power from the Sun

June 06, 2016
Plano, Texas and San Diego, Calif. (June 6, 2016) – It might not be the sunshine state, but Texas gets its fair share of sun. And when Toyota moves into its new North American headquarters next year, the automaker plans to "catch a ray."

Enter Toyota's Plano solar power system. The approximately 7.75-megawatt system will be the largest corporate office on-site solar installation among non-utility companies in the state of Texas. In total, the system is expected to provide approximately 25 percent of the power needed for the new headquarters campus. This installation is just one example of Toyota's environmental efforts to achieve the goal of USGBC Platinum LEED Certification for the state-of-the-art campus.

Current plans call for the system to be completed in phases. Phase one will cover two parking structures – approximately 2.45 megawatts per garage – and comes online by August 2017. The final installation, located on a third parking structure, is slated for December 2017 and will produce about 2.83 megawatts.

"We are dedicated to making sure our new headquarters campus supports – even redefines – Toyota's commitment to the environment," said Kevin Butt, Regional Director, North American Environmental Division. "The Plano solar system will not only reduce our environmental footprint and educate team members about renewable energy, it moves us closer to Toyota's 2050 global environmental challenge to eliminate carbon emissions in all operations."

The Plano solar array will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7122 metric tons, or the equivalent of almost 1,000 homes electricity usage for a year, and position Toyota as the leader among auto companies in U.S. for installed solar power.

Additional Toyota solar installations in the United States:

• Toyota has previously demonstrated leadership in solar installation. In 2008, at the Toyota North American parts center in Ontario, Calif., a 2.3-megawatt system produces more than 3.7 million kilowatt hours per year, providing up to 58 percent of the electricity needed at the facility. At the time of completion, it was the second largest single-rooftop solar array in North America.
• Toyota's South Campus headquarters building in Torrance, Calif. was one of the largest privately funded systems of its kind when it opened in 2003. The system covers 53,000 square feet of rooftop.
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (Blue Springs) features a single axis solar cell array, installed in 2013, that produces a maximum output of 50 kilowatts. The power generated by the array is redirected back to New Albany Light, Gas & Water, the local utility company, and ultimately transferred back onto the grid for public use.
• The Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama engine plant (in Huntsville) features two solar systems – a 16-kilowatt (KW) system and a 5-KW system that was Toyota's first at a U.S. plant. The smaller unit gives 5 kilowatts of power back to the grid.

In addition, at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone National Park, Toyota partnered on an innovative system that combines solar power generation with re-used Camry Hybrid battery packs, providing sustainable, zero emission power to a ranger station and education center.

In late 2015, Toyota Motor Corporation announced the 2050 Toyota Environmental Challenge, a set of ambitious environmental goals to reach beyond net zero, and create a net positive impact on the planet. To learn more, please visit http://www.toyota-global.com/sustainability/environment/challenge2050/

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