Ford Motor Company will start building its new Focus Electric car in 2011. So, it only makes sense that the green car will be manufactured with green energy. Rooftop solar panels will power Ford’s Focus car manufacturing plant in Wayne, Michigan.
In fact, the solar power system will be one of the largest solar arrays in Michigan – consisting of a 500 kilowatt (kW) solar panel array and a 750-kilowatt battery system with 2 megawatt-hours of solar electricity capacity – that’s enough clean power to completely cover 100 average Michigan homes’ energy needs for a year.
According to Ford Motor Company’s press release:
- The new solar power system will generate excess energy that will be fed back into the electrical grid.
- Ford will save about $160,000 per year in energy costs.
- The nearly $6 million cost of the solar power system is funded by DTE Energy, the Michigan Public Service Commission and Ford.
- Some of the solar electricity will be used to power 10 vehicle charging stations in the plant.
- Ford will be experimenting with using batteries for stationary storage applications
- The renewable energy captured by the project’s primary solar energy system will help power the production of fuel-efficient small cars, including Ford’s all-new Focus and Focus Electric going into production in 2011, and a next-generation hybrid vehicle and a plug-in hybrid vehicle coming in 2012.
- A secondary, smaller solar energy system will be integrated at a later date to power lighting systems at Michigan Assembly.
Jim Tetreault, Ford VP of North America Manufacturing, stated:
“With this solar energy system, we will be able to gain vital understanding about the integration of renewable power, smart-grid technologies and energy storage at an industrial facility. This project is part of the transformation of Michigan Assembly from a large SUV factory to a modern, flexible and sustainable small car plant.”
Renewable or green power supplies 3 percent of Ford’s energy needs worldwide.