Ford Motor Company has announced a solar power initiative in Valencia, Spain, citing its desire to be carbon neutral across Europe by 2035. At the Almussafes vehicle manufacturing facility, Ford recently installed 2.8 megawatts of photovoltaic electric power, with plans to increase that by 2.2 megawatts in the coming months (reaching close to 10 megawatts by 2024). The automaker added that all electric energy purchased by Ford manufacturing plants now comes from renewable sources.
“Now, more than ever, we all realize the need to use renewable energy sources,” said Stuart Southgate, Director of Sustainable, Environmental, and Safety Engineering at Ford of Europe.
Solar Panels & Megawatt Hours
The photovoltaic area that converts solar energy into electricity is in a non-production part of the Valencia plant. Side-by-side are two zones of solar panels capable of producing the equivalent power to run 1,400 homes yearly. The figures are based on data from Red Eléctrica Española, which sets the average electric consumption of a typical home in Spain at 3.2 megawatts per year.
The current production, nearly 4,641 megawatt hours annually, will increase in summer 2023 by 3,762 megawatt hours yearly, the equivalent of 1,100 additional homes. In practice, this means Ford’s Valencia factory will significantly reduce its current electricity demand from Spain’s national grid.
“As we move to an all-electric future and carbon neutrality across our manufacturing footprint at Ford, investments in innovations like this new solar power plant in Valencia creating new self-supplied renewable energy is an important contribution in our ongoing ambition to help build a better world,” Southgate said.
Carbon Neutrality Across Europe
According to Ford, the automaker is studying roof areas of the Valencia factory for solar panel integration. “By 2035, Ford is committed to having zero-emissions electric vehicles for all vehicle sales in Europe and targets carbon neutrality across its European footprint of facilities and suppliers,” the company said in a statement.