Ford SA is set to go off the grid, with 35% of its Silverton plant’s electricity now powered by solar power

  • Ford South Africa has partnered with SolarAfrica to supply 13.5MW of solar-generated electricity to its Silverton assembly plant
  • The system uses 30,226 solar panels, 120 inverters and eight transformers which generate 35% of the Silverton plant’s electricity needs.
  • Ford says this is the first phase of its renewable energy program as the company moves towards energy self-sufficiency and 100% carbon neutrality by 2050.

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Ford South Africa has announced that 35% of its electricity that powers the Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria comes from solar energy.

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

Ford’s Silverton plant now uses more than a third of its electricity from solar sources. 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 game-changing renewable energy project for the domestic automotive industry.

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Ockert Berry, Vice President of Operations, Ford South Africa said:

“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 Generation Ranger, we have a truly world-class capable of producing the highest quality vehicles for our customers around the world. »

It took nearly 600 days and 35,000 man-hours to install and complete, with approximately 59 tons of steel and 315 tons of aluminum used for the locally-made sun shelters.

More than 5,000 meters of medium and low voltage cabling was used to connect the photovoltaic solar panels to 120 three-phase 100 kW inverters and eight transformers, before being routed to the Silverton factory. The system is capable of producing 13.5 MW of electricity, which is equivalent to powering nearly 224,000 light bulbs, or 12,171 average homes, 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 be launched in South Africa this year, the company has yet to set a specific date. However, they shared more information about the technology than we can expect to see once it hits local shores, In brief News reports.

For starters, the analog display gives way to a 20cm all-digital instrument panel displaying the speedometer, tachometer and drive modes, among other information. The instrument cluster also incorporates body-style avatars and different layouts can be chosen to display driver assist technologies and additional gauges. The various on-road and off-road driving modes carry a different theme when selected.

Talking about the screens, it’s hard not to notice the standard 25cm touchscreen which sits prominently on the center console. The tablet-style screen was chosen as it is able to integrate the navigation while the lower climate and entertainment controls can also be displayed. If that’s not big enough, Ford will offer a 30cm infotainment screen that features a customizable split-screen setup with an on-demand infotainment cluster in the lower section.

Source: News in Brief

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