Dearborn, Michigan – Ford will soon be using the sun to help power its assembly lines. The primary part of one of Michigan’s largest solar power generation systems is now up and running at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant. The plant will produce the all-new Focus, Focus Electric, C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.

The system is a collaboration between Ford, DTE Energy, Xtreme Power, the city of Wayne and the state of Michigan.

The solar energy system will serve as a pilot project to be evaluated for possible use at other Ford facilities in the future. A smaller secondary solar energy system will be integrated at Michigan Assembly to power lighting systems at the plant.

The 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system will be integrated with a 750-kilowatt energy storage facility that can store two million watt-hours of energy using batteries, enough to power 100 average Michigan homes for a year. The project will also include a facility to demonstrate the potential reuse of electric vehicle batteries for stationary energy storage.

Funding for the Michigan Assembly project includes US$3 million from DTE Energy’s SolarCurrents program, a $2 million grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission, and approximately $800,000 worth of in-kind contributions from Ford.

Ford will also use solar power for ten electric vehicle charging stations at the facility for demonstration of advanced battery charging technologies. The stations will be used to recharge the electric switcher trucks that transport vehicle parts between buildings at the site.

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