As it aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050, Ford recently became the first company to sign the new Cologne Climate Declaration while also implementing more clean energy sources at many of its facilities. That includes adding solar power at the Ford Research & Engineering Center in Michigan, the Valencia Assembly plant in Spain, and the Silverton Assembly plant in South Africa, and a battery energy storage system at the Essex Engine plant in Canada, while the automaker also recently signed an agreement with DTE Energy to make its Michigan-based manufacturing plants carbon-neutral by 2025. Now, Ford continues to further this mission after signing a solar array deal with RheinEnergie in Germany.
The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to develop an action plan for climate protection, while also tripling the performance of the existing solar system at Ford’s Central European Spare Parts Warehouse in Merkenich, Cologne, form a joint commitment to the expansion of capacities for locally produced renewable electricity, and implement measures to increase the efficiency in production processes and lighting at the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center in Germany.
Following the expansion of the solar array at the Central European Spare Parts Warehouse, the facility will generate a capacity of 3.76 MWp – equivalent to the annual electricity use of roughly 1,100 homes – which will supply around six percent of the total electricity needed for Ford facilities located in Merkenich, including its development center, when the installation is completed by mid-2024. Additionally, the two companies plan to work together to expand wind farms in the region, too.
“Ford is totally committed to freedom of movement that goes hand-in-hand with looking after the planet,” said Martin Sander, general manager, Ford Model e, Europe. “Through RheinEnergie, we already source all electricity requirements for our locations in Cologne from renewable energy sources. Now, we are working together to ensure that this electricity will be produced more locally in the future.”