Ford speeds up carbon-free manufacturing with solar power in Africa, Asia

By Oliver Townsend Jun 18, 2024
Ford Accelerates Toward Carbon-Free Manufacturing with Solar Power Initiatives in South Africa and Thailand.jpegOrginal image from:

Ford Motor Company is making significant strides towards achieving carbon-free manufacturing by implementing solar power initiatives at its production facilities in South Africa and Thailand. With a goal to source 100% carbon-free electricity for global manufacturing by 2035, the company has already achieved 70.5% of carbon-free electricity use in its operations worldwide.

Ford’s Solar Power Projects in South Africa and Thailand

One of the key drivers of Ford’s progress towards carbon-free manufacturing is the implementation of solar power projects at its Ranger and Everest production facilities in South Africa and Thailand. These projects include the installation of the largest solar canopy carparks in Africa, located at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, and at Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM).

The Benefits of Solar Canopy Carparks

Andrea Cavallaro, Director of Operations at Ford’s International Market Group, highlighted the advantages of solar canopy carparks, stating that they provide an innovative way to utilize otherwise unused spaces. These carparks not only generate solar energy but also provide shelter for vehicles, reducing exposure to rain and excessive heat while powering nearby facilities.

The Silverton Assembly Plant in South Africa boasts a 13.5-megawatt solar carport that provides parking for over 3,500 vehicles and supplies 18% of the electricity needed to produce each Ranger. This initiative enables the production of more than 20,800 Rangers annually using solar power. Similarly, FTM’s 7.7-megawatt solar carport in Thailand shelters over 1,500 vehicles, reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 5,700 tons and contributing up to 20% of the energy required to produce each Ranger and Ranger Raptor.

Expanding Solar Capabilities in Thailand

Auto Alliance Thailand is also ramping up its solar capabilities by planning an 8-megawatt floating solar energy array near its Rayong facility, which is set to launch in September. This project will offset over 5,400 tons of CO2 emissions annually, making it Ford’s largest solar energy user in the region with a total of 14 megawatts.

Ford’s Commitment to Sustainability

Cavallaro emphasized Ford’s dedication to environmental quality in both its products and manufacturing processes. By focusing on conserving water, reducing waste, and transitioning to carbon-free electricity, the company is committed to building a more sustainable and inclusive transportation future. Initiatives like solar canopy carparks and floating solar farms play a crucial role in Ford’s Road to Better commitment, driving the company towards a greener and more equitable future.

Benefiting from Solar Initiatives

The dual benefits of utilizing unused space and reducing reliance on fossil fuels through solar initiatives underscore the positive impact of Ford’s sustainability efforts. By repurposing existing spaces for solar energy generation and diversifying their energy sources, Ford is paving the way for a more sustainable manufacturing industry.

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