Ford Motor Co. is collaborating with DTE Energy to build the largest solar array in Michigan right at Ford World Headquarters. The project will be funded by DTE Energy and will provide employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles like the Ford Fusion Energi and C-MAX Hybrid Energi.
The project will feature an on-site kiosk to offer general information to visitors about solar power and details about the Ford carport. Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, remarked that the carmaker has a long history of innovation and a “deep commitment to sustainability.”
He said that Ford makes people’s lives better by creating outstanding products, by investing in communities where employees live and work, and by using technology to tackle global sustainability challenges -- all of which are embedded in the project.
The project features a solar canopy capable of generating 1.038 MW of electricity, which is enough to power 158 average-sized homes. The solar array project in Michigan is expected reduce the amount of electricity that Ford gets from the power grid to keep its offices operational.
The solar array project is also expected to offset an estimated 794 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Donna Inch, chairman and chief executive of Ford Motor Land Development Corp., remarked that the solar array project with DTE Energy will benefit both companies, and is an example of their work towards building a “more sustainable future.”
Under the agreement, DTE Energy will construct, operate and maintain the carport for 20 years. It will commence the construction in September, with completion expected in early 2015. The installation is part of an initiative that DTE Energy rolled out in 2009 called SolarCurrents aimed at fulfilling the company’s commitment to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015.
Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy vice president, marketing and renewables, remarked that the SolarCurrents canopy project will help the company come closer to meeting Michigan’s renewable energy goals and diversify its energy portfolio. [source: Ford]