Today (Nov. 10) Ford announced that will install wind and solar-powered systems at four of its dealerships under a new pilot program with partner Wind Energy. Under the partnership the Ford dealerships in Michigan, California and New York will install the Windy System wind turbine and a 7 kilowatt solar array. Ford is investing roughly $750,000 in the hybrid systems.
Ford has previously made investments in renewable energy. Most recently it installed the largest commercial solar panel array in Michigan. Also it unveiled a solar-powered concept car at the International Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year.
Ford chose dealers for the pilot program that are electric vehicle-certified and had already demonstrated a commitment to clean energy. The company already installed a pilot system at Boggus Ford in Texas. The newly announced, expanded pilot program will include Dana Ford Lincoln at Staten Island, N.Y.; Tom Holzer Ford, Farmington Hills, Mich.; The Ford Store, Morgan Hill, Calif.; Fiesta Ford, Indio, Calif. Wind Energy will start installing the systems in early 2015 and expects to complete them by spring. Once installed, the dealerships will keep the systems permanently.
“What sets the Windy System apart is its combination of wind, solar, and market impact. It is a branded beacon of sustainability that delivers both energy and a point of view,” said Jack Phillips, COO of Wind Energy.
The dealerships will use the arrays to power their buildings, electric vehicle charging stations and lot lighting. “The Windy System was created in concert with world-class partners and we are thrilled to bring this innovative renewable energy solution to Ford and its dealers, including our beta site at Boggus Ford in Harlingen, Texas,” said Wind Energy CEO Jim Fugitte.
The company’s wind turbines—or wind sails—are vertical axis wind turbines that resemble an upright fan more than the normal three-bladed wind turbine. As such the turbines have a larger surface area, which will be used to brand the dealership with the Ford logo, providing additional advertising area.
The Windy Systems are expected to provide 20,000 kilowatts of electricity annually. “That is enough energy to power two average-sized homes for a year or charge a Ford Focus Electric 870 times, Fusion Energi 2,600 times and C-MAX Energi 2,600 times. Using one Windy System will offset nearly 14 tons of greenhouse gases per year,” Ford said.
“We are pleased to be working with Wind Energy Corporation to offer a pioneering, clean energy option to Ford dealers,” said John Felice, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service for Ford. “This is yet another innovative tool to help Ford and its dealers address a global sustainability challenge.”Tweet