Ford SA Is on Its Way to Driving off the Grid As 35% of Its Silverton Plant’s Electricity Is Now Solar Powered

Ford SA Is on Its Way to Driving off the Grid As 35% of Its Silverton Plant’s Electricity Is Now Solar Powered

  • Ford South Africa has partnered with SolarAfrica to supply 13.5MW of electricity generated from solar power to its Silverton Assembly Plant
  • The system uses 30 226 solar panels, 120 inverters and eight transformers that generate 35 per cent of the Silverton plant’s electricity requirements
  • Ford says this is the firsr phase of its renewable energy programme as the company moves towards becoming energy self-sufficient and 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2050

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Ford South Africa announced 35 percent of its electricity that powers the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria is derived from solar power.

The partnership is with SolarAfrica, who underook the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) carports for 3 610 vehicles.

Ford SA Is on Its Way to Driving off the Grid As 35% of Its Silverton Plant’s Electricity Is Solar Powered
Ford's Silverton plant now uses more than a third of its power is derived from solar power. Image: Quickpic
Source: UGC

SolarAfrica’s innovative, large-scale solar array uses a total of 30 226 solar panels to generate 13.5MW of emissions-free electricity for the Silverton plant, Quickpic reports.

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This makes it one of the largest solar carports in the world, and a truly ground-breaking renewable energy project for the domestic automotive industry.

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Ockert Berry, VP Operations, Ford South Africa says:

“Combined with our R15.8-billion investment in the Silverton Assembly Plant and supplier tooling in the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone for the next-gen Ranger, we have a truly world-class facility capable of producing vehicles of the highest quality for our customers around the world.”

It took almost 600 days and 35 000 man-hours to install and complete, with approximately 59 tons of steel and 315 tons of aluminium used for the locally manufactured solar carports.

More than 5 000 metres of medium and low-voltage cabling was used to connect the solar PV panels to 120 three-phase 100kW inverters and eight transformers, before being fed into the Silverton plant. The system is capable of producing 13.5MW of power – which is equivalent to powering almost 224 000 light bulbs, or 12 171 average households, for an entire year.

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Ford’s new SA-built Ranger will debut a host of new tech, here’s what to expect

Ford's popular Ranger will launch in South Africa sometime this year, the company has pinned down a definite date as yet. However, they did share more information on the technology we can expect to see once it arrives on local shores, Briefly News reports.

For starters, the analogue display makes way for a 20cm fully-digital instrument cluster displaying the speedometer, tachometer and driving modes among other information. The instrument cluster also incorporates body-style avatars and different layouts can be chosen displaying driver-assist technologies and extra gauges. The different on-road and off-road driving modes carry a different theme when selected.

On the topic of screens, it's hard not to notice the standard 25cm touchscreen located prominently on the centre console. The tablet-style screen was chosen as it's able to incorporate navigation while lower down climate and entertainment controls can also be displayed. If that's not big enough, Ford will offer a 30cm infotainment screen that has a customisable split-screen setup with an info on-demand cluster at the bottom section.

Source: Briefly News

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