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Renewable Energy Use

Ford is actively involved in the installation, demonstration and development of alternative sources of energy.

In October 2009, two wind turbines spun into action producing “green” electricity for the Ford Genk plant in Belgium. Installed by local energy company Electrabel, each unit has an output of 2 MW of power, which is used in the manufacture of the Ford Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models.

Ford’s Dagenham Diesel Centre in the UK was the first automotive plant in the world to obtain all of its electrical power needs from two on-site wind turbines, which have been in operation since 2004. A third 2-megawatt wind turbine will be installed at Dagenham in 2011.

A few miles from Dagenham, Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre is also powered by electricity from renewable sources. Since March 2009, electric power on the 270-acre site, which is home to a team of approximately 3,000 engineers, has been purchased from 100 percent renewable sources. The majority of the electricity, supplied by GDF, is sourced from a combination of hydro, wind and waste-to-energy generation, and replaces energy from traditional sources that would have produced an estimated 35,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Since 2008, Ford has been sourcing renewable electricity to cover the full electric power demand of its manufacturing and engineering facilities at its Cologne plant in Germany. This includes the electricity needed for the assembly of the Ford Fiesta models at the plant. Through this initiative, the company has reduced its CO2 emissions by 190,000 metric tons per year.

In Wales, Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant was the first site retrofitted with one of the largest integrated, grid-connected solar/photovoltaic installations at a car manufacturing plant in Europe.

In North America, examples of installed renewable-energy technologies include a photovoltaic array and solar thermal collector at the Ford Rouge Visitors Center. The adjacent Dearborn Truck Plant has a “living roof” system, which uses a thick carpet of plants to reduce the need for heating and cooling while absorbing rainwater. At the Lima Engine Plant in Lima, Ohio, a geothermal system provides process cooling for plant operations as well as air tempering for employee comfort. This system uses naturally cooled 40°F water from two abandoned limestone quarries located on the plant site. The installation cost was comparable to that of the traditional chiller and cooling tower design that it replaced. This award-winning project eliminates the emission of 4,300 metric tons of CO2 each year. In addition, we continue to use a landfill gas installation at the Wayne Assembly Plant.

At our Michigan Assembly Plant, we are building a smart renewable power storage system. We are collaborating with DTE Energy to build this stationary, battery-based energy storage facility, which will combine a 500 kW solar photovoltaic array with a 750 kW storage system to deliver 2 MWh of energy. This project will provide vital knowledge from a real-world integration of renewable energy, smart-grid technologies and battery storage infrastructure. For more on this project, please see Ford’s Green Partnerships with Federal and State Governments.