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500 kW Solar PV system goes online at Ford’s Michigan Assembly; 2 MWh energy storage system

The primary element of one of Michigan’s largest solar power generation systems at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant is now up and running. The system is the result of collaboration between Ford, DTE Energy, Xtreme Power, the city of Wayne and the state of Michigan.

Ford collaborated with DTE Energy to install the 500 kW solar photovoltaic panel system at Michigan Assembly. The system will be integrated with a 750-kilowatt energy storage facility that can store 2 million watt-hours of energy using batteries. The project will also include a 50-kilowatt-hour facility to demonstrate the potential reuse of vehicle electric batteries for stationary energy storage. Xtreme Power of Austin, Texas, is supplying its Dynamic Power Resource on-site energy storage and power management system.

Michigan Assembly will operate on a blend of renewable and conventional electricity. Renewable energy collected by the solar system will go into the plant’s electrical distribution system to help provide power. When the plant is inactive, the collected solar energy will go into the Dynamic Power Resource storage system for later use, providing power during periods of insufficient or inconsistent sunlight.

The renewable energy captured by the energy system will help power the production of Ford’s all-new Focus. The plant will also produce Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.

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

The solar energy installation is part of DTE Energy’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 funded by a $3 million investment from DTE Energy’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 worth of in-kind contributions from Ford.

Ford will install 10 electric vehicle charging stations at Michigan Assembly to demonstrate advanced battery charging technologies for vehicles using renewable energy and other smart-grid advances. The stations will be used to recharge the electric switcher trucks that transport vehicle parts between adjacent buildings at the manufacturing site.

Michigan Assembly’s energy storage system will be able to recharge from the smart grid during off-peak hours when energy is available at a lower cost.

Comments

HarveyD

A very good deal for Ford. A $5.8M installation for $0.8M, i.e. an 86.2% reduction or give away. This is how States and Federal authorities run huge deficits. And it is still called free enterprise.

ejj

Exactly HarveyD --- I think it should be called insanity. Government should be incentivizing the entire renewable energy industry with major tax breaks instead of simply creating haves & have nots with grants and direct handouts like this.

citizen

And we wonder why the Federal and state governments are in the red - another huge waste of tax payer dollars.

HarveyD

It would have been much cheaper for the Fed to mandate the progressive use of solar power. Isn't that the primary role of governments?

Compensation, if any, could be future tax credits limited to taxing 25% or 50% of effective taxes.

Reel$$

Guys, you've got to look at the bigger picture. Either you are a bean counter worried about where the next beans are coming from - or you are an innovator - opening new doors. DTE is private and the Michigan PSC is State. Nod fed funds in this operation.

And I might add a very good use of Michigan taxpayer funds - since EVs and renewable electricity are the foundation of Michigan's new automotive industry. ANY solar EV demonstration is a boon to electrification and Energy Independence.

SJC

Lots of talk about renewable energy, they do this and then comes the criticism. It keeps peak load off the grid, provides power to the grid and stores energy for peak shaving. I can only see this as good.

Congress is debating light bulbs as if there is no problem that is greater to work on, like unemployment and the debt. If 50 million homes all had at least ONE CFL it would reduce the amount of additional energy needed, but NO they whine about the horribly inefficient incandescent bulb.

Reel$$

A hint for gloomers: showing a little enthusiasm and gratitude for the very things you pound the table for... might just get you further.

SJC

I am thankful that we have some solutions waiting in the wings. If it were not for innovative people creating new more efficient ways, we would be stuck wondering what to do.

Henry Gibson

Yes there is a waste of both federal and state and private funds. With the tax credits etc.

Micro turbines are a much cheaper way to reduce the use of fossil fuels and they will actually pay back the monies invested in them. Heat, power and cooling comes from them. Japanese buildings should have had them. ..HG..

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