Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has embarked on a pioneering solar energy project for its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, as part of its vision to develop an integrated renewable energy solution that aims to have the Silverton Assembly Plant entirely ‘green’ and energy self-sufficient by 2024, making it one of the very first Ford plants in the world to achieve this status.
The company has kickstarted ‘Project Blue Oval’ through a partnership with SolarAfrica to provide a 13.5MW solar installation for the facility, valued at R135-million, which will deliver approximately 30-percent of the Silverton plant’s annual power requirements. This involves installing specially developed and locally manufactured solar photovoltaic (PV) carports throughout the facility, using more than 31 000 solar panels. Covering parking bays for around 4 200 vehicles, it will be one of the largest solar carports in the world.
Andrea Cavallaro, Director Operations, Ford International Markets Group: “Ford Motor Company has launched clear objectives to address climate change, which compel us to change our behaviour in profound and lasting ways. As stated in our 2020 Sustainability Report, Ford is the only full-line automaker in the US committed to doing its part to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, and we are working towards stronger vehicle greenhouse standards to reduce our impact on the environment. With our Creating Tomorrow Together transformation plan, we are accelerating our efforts to be a leader in mobility, and making progress toward our vision of clean, safe, affordable and accessible transportation for all. Ford’s future-oriented strategy includes maximising new opportunities created by electrification, self-driving technology and smart mobility solutions. The exciting new Mustang Mach-E and the upcoming all-electric F-150 pickup are perfect examples of how Ford is creating the platform for a brighter, emissions-free future.”
Ford is also addressing the dependence on precious water resources, particularly in water-scarce countries such as South Africa, as well as reducing and eventually completely phasing out its contribution of waste to landfill.
Project Blue Oval in South Africa sets a benchmark for Ford Motor Company’s objective to use 100-percent locally sourced renewable energy for all its manufacturing plants globally by 2035, taking the company one step closer to achieving carbon neutrality globally by 2050 – both for its facilities around the world and within its supply base.