Through a partnership with DTE Energy Ford’s headquarters in Detroit will soon have a solar-powered carport that will cover 360 parking spaces. The solar array will also have 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). In all, when the the 1,038 kilowatt PV array is completed in early 2015, it’s expected to generate enough electricity to power 158 homes annually.
When completed it will be the largest solar array in Michigan and one of the largest in the whole Midwest region. In fact, the only larger solar carport in the midwest is the 1.1-megawatt array at Ohio’s Cincinnati Zoo.
The system will be owned and operated by DTE, however, Ford will use the power generated both to charge EVs and to offset some of the electric at its offices. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with DTE Energy to bring a more efficient, renewable energy source to our offices,” said Donna Inch, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Land Development Corp. “This is an innovative project that will benefit both DTE Energy and Ford, and is yet another example of our work toward building a more sustainable future.”
It’s the second time Ford and DTE have partnered to install solar panels at one of its facilities. They installed a 500-kilowatt solar array at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne. That array helps with vehicle manufacturing Energy generated by the system helps power Ford’s vehicle production at the plant where its Focus, Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi are manufactured.
Both installations are part of DTE’s SolarCurrents program, which launched in 2009 under which it plans to source 10 percent of its energy form renewable sources by 2015. “The SolarCurrents canopy project is another example of how DTE Energy and Ford are working to build a more energy-efficient and sustainable future,” said Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy vice president, marketing and renewables. “At the same time, this project will help us come closer to meeting Michigan’s renewable energy goals and diversify our energy portfolio.”
Ford also made a larger solar commitment when it bought 3 megawatts of Sonora80M, a solar array being built in Mexico. However Ford is far from the only auto manufacturer using solar power at its facilities. GM already has at least 37 megawatts of solar at facilities across the world, including a gargantuan 12 megawatt array on a rooftop in Spain. And of course Tesla is launching its Superchargers at increasing locations all across the country to allow for a solar-powered EV charging network.Tweet