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Ford to install wind and solar energy at dealerships

Auto giant Ford announced innovative new plans this week that could see its dealers across the country become renewable energy hubs.

The company has entered into partnership with Wind Energy Corporation, which will see the renewable energy developer deploy solar panels and vertical axis wind "sails" at four Ford dealerships as part of a pilot program.

Around $750,000 is scheduled to be invested in the project, which will see Wind Energy Corporation install its so-called "Windy System," combining wind sail technology with a 7 kW solar array at each site.

The company said each installation is expected to provide around 20,000 kWh of clean electricity a year, equivalent to that needed to power two average-sized U.S. homes or recharge Ford's new Focus Electric 870 times. According to Wind Energy Corporation's calculations, the system will offset 14 tons of greenhouse gases a year.

Ford said the clean energy generated onsite would be used to power the buildings, electric vehicle charging stations and lighting systems at the four dealers in New York, Michigan and California.

It also confirmed the vertical axis wind sails will feature the Ford logo, highlighting the company's commitment to renewable energy.

"We are pleased to be working with Wind Energy Corporation to offer a pioneering, clean energy option to Ford dealers," said John Felice, vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service at the auto giant, in a statement. "This is yet another innovative tool to help Ford and its dealers address a global sustainability challenge."

Work on the installations is scheduled to start early next year, with Wind Energy Corporation predicting the project will be completed by spring.

This article first appeared at BusinessGreen.

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