Ford Looks to Use Solar Energy to Power Assembly Plant

The move will save the company an estimated $160,000 per year in energy costs. The renewable energy captured by the project’s primary solar energy system will help power the production of Ford’s Focus and Focus Electric vehicles.

A secondary, smaller solar energy system will be integrated at a later date to power lighting systems at Michigan Assembly. Installation of the system begins later this year.

Ford will work with Detroit Edison to install a 500 kilowatt (kw) solar photovoltaic panel system that will be integrated with a 750kw energy storage facility that can store 2 million watt-hours of energy using batteries. Xtreme Power of Austin, Texas, is supplying its Dynamic Power Resource on-site energy storage and power management system.

The solar energy installation is part of Detroit Edison’s pilot SolarCurrents program that calls for photovoltaic systems to be installed on customer rooftops or property over the next five years to generate 15 megawatts of electricity throughout Southeast Michigan.

The Michigan Assembly project is made possible by a $3 million investment by Detroit Edison’s SolarCurrents program, a $2 million grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission in support of the state’s smart-grid initiative, and approximately $800,000 from Ford.