Ford Motor Co. has partnered with DTE Energy to build Michigan’s largest solar array — a carport with 360 covered parking spaces topped with solar panels that will be used to power 30 vehicle charging stations at Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn.
The new solar carport will include three sections, each 225 feet long and will be able to generate around 1.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 150 average sized homes, and will offset approximately 800 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually — the weight of a Ford Focus is approximately 1 metric ton. Construction for the new carport will begin in September and is expected to be completed in early 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,” says Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy vice president. “At the same time, this project will help us come closer to meeting Michigan’s renewable energy goals and diversify our energy portfolio.”
The electricity generated by the solar array will reduce the amount of grid electricity Ford needs to use to power its headquarters facility. The new installation is part of DTE Energy’s initiative to produce 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015 due to a mandate signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.