• Connie Neininger

Renewables Attract Toyota and More

We know renewable energy is in high demand and Indiana has a bright future with renewable energy – just look at our project map. Maybe you heard the news recently when Governor Holcomb and Toyota announced that the Princeton Factory in Gibson County would be producing brand new electric Toyota and Lexus SUVs – bringing 1,400 new jobs and over $800 million in new investment. So you ask - what does this have to do with renewable energy? Plenty . . .


Our rural communities that can host a wind or solar energy development will be able to support manufacturers, such as Toyota, that are looking for renewable energy.

This incredible new investment from Toyota is a marker for their future and ours. Toyota demands access to renewable energy as is shown by their “Environmental Challenge 2050” where they challenged themselves to a series of clean energy goals, one being to eliminate CO2 emissions from all operations. 2050 is a long way off, and technology and the world will change immensely before then so let’s focus on some more immediate plans. Much more relevant to us today, is when in 2019 Toyota announced their plans to reduce emissions at US operations by 40% over three years. One important way to achieve that goal is to increase the use of wind and solar energy.


And that’s where Indiana comes in. Our rural communities that can host a wind or solar energy development will be able to support manufacturers, such as Toyota, that are looking for renewable energy. And with each new renewable energy development comes a massive windfall for the local community – funds that can be spent to support schools, improve roads, assist first-responders and more. Anything they need to help build a vital community.


For over 50 years, we’ve heard the phrase that “a rising tide lifts all boats” to make the point that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants in that economy. So when we have a global corporation making a commitment to use renewable energy and we have investments in renewable energy across our state in counties such as White, Randolph, Posey, and even Gibson, we know Indiana understands how one project supports another. Indiana also understands the importance of drawing the attention of global corporations, such as Toyota, who are looking to meet their environmental challenges and can do so in Indiana.


So when we see one of those special announcements like the one last week about the Toyota expansion project, you know – the type that makes us all go wow! Let’s remind ourselves that as Hoosiers, we are good at building things and growing things – and that all of these projects, manufacturing and renewable energy combined, lift up our communities to build a stronger economy.

Remember – an investment in one county impacts surrounding counties, and as they say – a rising tide does lift all boats, or in this case – all counties. We are fortunate to live in a state that understands that no community is an island and that we need to be inclusive of all types of development, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, and energy – renewable energy included – if we are going to lift up our communities.