The turbines on the Dagenham grounds convert wind into electricity to power production at the Dagenham Diesel Center. Increased demand for Ford's diesel-sipping engines required the installation of a third turbine so the facility can remain 100 percent wind powered.
Currently, two turbines generate 5.92 million kWh of electricity per year. That's enough juice to power 1,794 homes. With the addition of the third turbine, annual electricity generation will hit 11.4 million kWh. The laying of the foundation for the third turbine began back in May and its blades will begin spinning in less than two week's time.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity and the man behind that whole wind-powered Nemesis thing, says:
The Dagenham Diesel Center assembles some of Ford's most fuel-efficient engines and the additional turbine means that the power needed to produce those engines comes from one of the greenest sources of energy around. Seems like a sensible idea.It's great to see a company like Ford taking the lead in this way, powering their modern diesel engine center with green energy from our windmills. When big businesses like Ford use wind energy like this, it lends real credibility to the cause.
New larger and more powerful turbine is set to double the annual CO2 saving from 2,500 to 5,000 tonnes per year
Two wind turbines at Ford's Genk Plant, Belgium, have been in service since 2009
Ford Cologne Niehl Plant, Germany, and the European Ford Technical Centres in Dunton, UK, and Cologne-Merkenich, Germany, also powered by renewable energy
Ford has a holistic approach to addressing CO2 emissions – in another scheme, in the 1990s the company sponsored the planting of one tree for every car without a catalytic converter part exchanged for a new car, resulting in over 200,000 trees being grown in sustainable forests
Cologne, Germany, Aug. 15, 2011 – Ford's Dagenham Diesel Engine Assembly Line in the UK will be fully powered by wind come the end of August 2011, thanks to the erection of a third electricity-generating turbine. This new addition will double the annual CO2 saving from 2,500 to 5,000 tonnes per year.
The turbines on the Ford Dagenham estate convert wind energy into electricity to power production at the DDC. Increased output of the DDC engine assembly line – due to the installation of a new 1.4/1.6-litre Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel engine production line – required the construction of this third turbine in order to remain 100 per cent powered by wind-generated electricity. The site's location on the banks of the River Thames makes it the ideal location to utilise this environmentally friendly technology.
Currently, the two turbines generate 5.92 million kWh of electricity per year – the equivalent of powering 1,794 homes. With the addition of the third turbine, the amount of electricity generated reaches 11.4 million kWh per year – enough to power twice the number of homes. Ground work and foundation construction began in May, and the third turbine is now operational.
"Since 2000, we have reduced our global operational energy use by 30 per cent and CO2 emissions from our facilities by 39 per cent," said Ken Macfarlane, Vice President Manufacturing, Ford of Europe. "Globally Ford is committed to continue leading the way in environmental responsibility, whether with the vehicles and powertrains we make or through the processes we use to make them."
Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity which supplied the new turbine, said: "It's great to see a company like Ford taking the lead in this way, powering their modern diesel engine centre with green energy from our windmills. When big businesses like Ford use wind energy like this, it lends real credibility to the cause."
DDC wind turbine data
New third wind turbine
Total performance of the three wind turbines
Green electricity per year
5.58 million kWh
11.4 million kWh
Homes powered (equiv)
Tonnes of CO2 saved (p.a)
Green energy supply across Europe
The new turbine is the latest in Ford's ongoing Green Energy Initiative, of which wind power plays an important part. At the end of 2009 two gigantic wind turbines, each with a height of 150 metres, spun into action producing 'green' electricity for Ford's Genk Plant in Belgium.
The two megawatt-capacity Genk turbines, installed by local energy company Electrabel, each produce enough energy to power 2,300 private homes. They now provide a significant amount of the power needed at the production home of Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models, with other renewable energy sources making up the remainder. Together, these energy sources help the plant save around 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
Elsewhere, renewable energy sources are also employed in many of Ford of Europe's other sites, helping the company to further reduce its carbon footprint. Ford's Dunton Technical Centre in the UK has been powered by 100 per cent renewable energy since spring 2008, replacing the traditional sources that would have generated 35,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
In Ford's German production facilities at the Niehl Plant, the Technical Centre in Merkenich and Ford of Europe's head office, also in Cologne-Niehl, electricity comes from three hydro-power plants in Norway and Sweden. The Merkenich Technical Centre also uses steam generated as a by-product of a cogeneration power plant of the local energy provider RheinEnergie to supply its heating. These measures combined reduce annual CO2 emissions by 190,000 tonnes.
The sun also plays its part, in the perhaps unlikely location of Ford's Bridgend engine plant in Wales. Solar power from the roof-mounted solar/photovoltaic panels has helped the site to reduce its CO2 emissions for a number of years now.
Richard Douthwaite, manager, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Ford of Europe, said: "On an individual basis we are looking to improve the CO2 footprint of our plants across Europe, there is no one-fits-all solution. All the plants have different layouts and different opportunities to adopt green power – such as external factors like airstream or hours of sunshine per day, as well as local regulations. We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and will continue to do so as we constantly strive to reduce our carbon footprint."
Planting the roots of sustainability
The United Nations has declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests, aiming to raise awareness on sustainable management and development as well as the conservation of forests, yet Ford has recognised the importance of sustainable woodlands since the mid-1990s.
In a marketing campaign throughout Germany, Ford sponsored the planting of one tree for every car without a catalytic convertor taken in part exchange for a new car. The first year, 1996, saw over 50,000 seedlings being planted near Cologne, which are now fully grown into eight mature woodlands covering an area as big as 20 football pitches.
Over 200,000 trees were planted in the scheme, enough to store 160 tonnes of CO2 annually – as much as Fiesta ECOnetic emits in one million kilometres (620,000 miles).
Dr Wolfgang Hennig, programme management, Sustainability Strategy/Corporate Citizenship, Ford of Germany, added: "Those sponsored reforestations literally stand for Ford's holistic sustainability approach – we have reduced the CO2 emissions of European Ford vehicles by nearly 30 per cent over the past 15 years. With the sponsored reforestations Ford contributed to CO2 storage in the biomass, and it also helped to promote local biodiversity."
The forests are recorded in a regional forestry database, and you can find geo-tagged satellite images and more info at: http://ixp-media.com/waldvermehrung (click on 'Walddatenbank', select 'Ford-Werke AG' in the drop-down menu).
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordmotorcompany.com.
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 51 individual markets and employs approximately 66,000 employees. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22 manufacturing facilities, including joint ventures. The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.