Ford HQ to get 1MW solar carport

Ford Motor Company is teaming with local electric utility DTE Energy to build Michigan’s largest solar array at its world headquarters in Dearborn.

DTE Energy will fund the project, which will provide employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles such as the Ford Fusion Energi.

The solar canopy will have a capacity of 1.04MW – enough to power 158 average-sized homes.

It will be the second-largest solar carport in the US Midwest, after a 1.1MW installation at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, and it will reduce the amount of electricity Ford pulls from the grid to run its offices.

“Ford has a long history of innovation and a deep commitment to sustainability,” says Ford CEO Bill Ford. “Our fundamental purpose as a company is to make people’s lives better.”

DTE Energy will construct, operate and maintain the carport for 20 years. Construction is due to begin in September and reach commercial operation in early 2015.

The solar installation is part of an initiative DTE Energy launched in 2009 called SolarCurrents. The program works to fulfill the utility’s commitment to generate 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015.