Ford, DTE Energy to Build Michigan’s Largest Solar Array

DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co. and DTE Energy are teaming up to build Michigan’s largest solar array at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn.

The project, funded by DTE Energy, will provide employees with 360
covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric
vehicles such as the company’s Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max
Hybrid Energi. A kiosk will also be on site offering general information
to visitors about solar power and specific details about the Ford

“Ford has a long history of innovation and a deep commitment to
sustainability,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor
Company. “Our fundamental purpose as a company is to make
people’s lives better. We do that by creating outstanding products, by
investing in communities where our employees live and work, and by
using technology to tackle global sustainability challenges. Those
beliefs are embodied in this project.”

The solar canopy will have capacity to generate 1.038 megawatts of
electricity — enough to power 158 average-sized homes. It will be the
second-largest solar carport in the Midwest, after a 1.1-megawatt
facility at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, and it will reduce the amount of
electricity Ford pulls from the grid to run its offices.

The solar array will offset an estimated 794 metric tons of carbon
dioxide emissions annually.

Said Donna Inch, chair and CEO of Ford Motor Land Development Corp. “This is an innovative project that will benefit both DTE Energy and Ford, and is yet another example of our work toward building a more sustainable future.”

DTE Energy will build, operate and maintain the carport for 20 years
under a contract. Construction is slated to begin in September and be
completed in early 2015.

The solar installation is part of an initiative DTE Energy launched in
2009 called SolarCurrents. The program works to fulfill DTE Energy’s
commitment to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable
sources by 2015.

“The SolarCurrents canopy project is another example of how DTE
Energy and Ford are working to build a more energy-efficient and
sustainable future,” said Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy vice president,
marketing and renewables. “At the same time, this project will help us
come closer to meeting Michigan’s renewable energy goals and
diversify our energy portfolio.”

This is the second collaboration between Ford and DTE Energy in
recent years.

In 2010, the companies teamed up to install a 500-kilowatt solar
photovoltaic panel system at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in
Wayne. Energy generated by the system helps power vehicle
production at the plant, where Ford Focus, Focus Electric, C-Max
Hybrid and C-Max Energi are built.

Ford World Headquarters is home to other environmental innovations. In 2012, a “living roof” was installed when a 2,500-square-foot portion of the rooftop needed repair. Multiple varieties of sedum were planted to reduce storm water runoff from the building.

The project built on the success Ford saw a decade ago when it
developed its first green roof at Dearborn Truck Plant, home of F-150
pickup production. That green roof is 10.4 acres in size and helps
create a natural storm water management system that costs two-thirds less to operate than a conventional treatment system. The roof, covered with 11 plant species that act as insulation, lowers the
amount of heat entering the building by 70 percent, reducing cooling
costs by 5 percent.

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