Ford Turns Solar at Michigan Plant

Having been announced ever since last year, the solar power generation system installed by American manufacturer Ford in cooperation with DTE Energy is slowly beginning to power up, with the first part of the system being switched on this week.

The installation will provide Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant with 500 kilowatts of pure solar energy, which will be used by Ford to power both the assembly lines and charge its electric vehicles through the ten solar-powered charging points that will be installed at the facility.

Working in conjunction with the 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system will be a 750-kilowatt energy storage facility, whose batteries will be able to retain 2 million watt-hours of energy for future use.

“This solar energy system allows us to test the viability of alternative energy to supply power for our manufacturing facilities around the world. It serves as a significant initiative within our corporate emphasis on sustainability,” said Jim Tetreault, Ford vice president, North America Manufacturing.

“Michigan Assembly Plant has been transformed into a facility that embodies our drive for flexible manufacturing and strives for new standards for green manufacturing.”

The Michigan Assembly Plant will be the birth place of the new Focus, including its electric version later this year. Two other hybrids, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, will also be manufactured there.

Should the solar power project prove successful in Michigan (and Ford sees no reason it won't be), the concept will move to power other Ford facilities as well. Together with the 500-kilowatt solar panel system itself, a smaller one will also be tested as the supplier of energy for the plant's lighting systems.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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