Wind-power is proving a popular choice for automakers in their quest to curb costs and present an environmentally-aware public face. Nissan has eight turbines at its Sunderland plant, Toyota has one planned for its Flintshire, Wales factory and even Chrysler is investing in a wind project at its Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan.

While that may seem like a decent effort they will have to do better than that if they want to match the initiative of Ford at its Dagenham Diesel Center. Already supplied with 100 percent wind-generated electricity for its existing operations, expansion plans for a 1.4/1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine line means they're adding a third wind turbine to supply the extra needed power. The new installation will be handled, as before, by Ecotricity and should produce 1.8 megawatts. Check out the press release from Ford for all the details after the jump.

Press Release:

THIRD WIND TURBINE FOR FORD DAGENHAM'S LOW CO2 ENGINE PLANT

DAGENHAM/COLOGNE, April 4, 2008 – Ford will add a third wind turbine at its Dagenham engine manufacturing plant (London, UK) to reduce further the CO2 emissions from its European operations.

The extra turbine enables Ford's Dagenham Diesel Centre to remain 100 per cent powered by wind generated electricity, following installation of a new 1.4/1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine line. The engine goes into Ford of Europe's popular Fiesta, Fusion and Focus models.

"This initiative marks another cornerstone in our ongoing efforts to implement a broad portfolio of measures across our European plants, aimed at further reducing the CO2 footprint from our manufacturing operations," said Dr Wolfgang Schneider, vice president, governmental and environmental affairs, Ford of Europe.

"Earlier this year, we announced we are sourcing renewable electricity for our Cologne plant where Fiesta and Fusion models are assembled. Now follows the announcement about the installation of the third wind turbine at Dagenham where the engines for those models are manufactured. Both initiatives show our progress in minimising CO2 emissions of our vehicles during their entire life cycle," he added.

Ford/Ecotricity wind turbine partnership for Dagenham
By using the existing two wind turbines - provided by London-based energy company Ecotricity - Ford Dagenham has avoided the emission of over 6,500 tonnes of CO2 a year since 2004. The third Ecotricity turbine – which is subject to planning approval, would have the capacity to produce 1.8 megawatts of green electricity for Ford's Dagenham Diesel Centre – the equivalent of powering 1,000 homes.

Ford/RheinEnergy renewable electricity partnership for Cologne
Ford is also investing in environmentally sensitive manufacturing in its other European manufacturing sites. The company is sourcing renewable electricity for its Fiesta/Fusion production and car engineering facilities at Ford Cologne in Germany. The green electric power is generated by three hydro-power plants in Scandinavia and provided to Ford through Cologne-based energy infrastructure service provider RheinEnergy. Through this initiative, the company will reduce its CO2 emissions by 190,000 tonnes per year.

Global commitment
Globally, Ford continues to reduce the environmental footprint of its manufacturing operations. Since the year 2000, Ford has reduced its global operational energy use by 27 per cent overall (12 per cent per vehicle built), CO2 emissions by 31 per cent (16 per cent per vehicle built), and water use by more than 25 per cent (11 per cent per vehicle built).

Renewable or "green" power supplies about three per cent of Ford's energy needs worldwide, through the use of hydro, solar, wind and geo-thermal power, landfill gas and waste gases.

[Source: Ford]

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