Ford’s sustainability efforts in recent years have led it to team up with DTE Energy to move to carbon-free energy at its production facilities, as well as use solar power at a variety of manufacturing sites such as the Ford Otosan Assembly plant in Turkey, the Valencia Assembly plant in Spain, the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center in Germany, and the Silverton Assembly plant in South Africa. Now, those efforts continue at Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) – which builds the Ford Ranger and Ford Everest, too.
There, Ford has signed a power purchase agreement with WHA Utilities and Power (WHAUP) that will result in the installation of an 8-MW floating solar farm on a raw water reservoir located near AAT. The floating solar system consists of double-glass modules that are mounted on floating HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) type plastic platforms, which are completely safe for the underwater ecosystem and environment. WHAUP expects to start generating commercial electricity by September 2024, and this system will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 5,400 tons per year.
The installation of this floating solar system is a bit of a milestone for AAT’s commitment to sustainability and its goal to reduce its carbon footprint. The system will provide clean energy to power AAT’s operations and reduce the environmental impact of its activities – an important step towards the plant’s journey to become a 100 percent renewable energy operation that aims to produce and use nothing but clean energy in lieu of fossil fuels by 2035.
Back in 2022, AAT was treated to a 5-MW Solar Rooftop, which will reportedly offset 92,568 tons of CO2 emissions over the next 25 years, and earlier this year, Ford also installed an additional 1-MW panel at AAT, which helps offset another 887 tons of CO2 emissions annually. With this new floating solar system, the site’s total solar power capacity will increase to 14 MW, which figures to make a significant contribution toward achieving the automaker’s sustainability goals there.