Ford to install solar cells at SUV factory, Mother Nature sees glimmer of hope

From the Baby Steps department: Ford will be working with Detroit Edison to install a 500-kilowatt photovoltaic array and 750kw battery storage system at its Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne. While this is a great thing, the sun will only be handling about 0.5 percent of the plant's yearly 140,000,000-kilowatt-hour consumption. More important than that 0.5 percent, however, is the fact that the PV system will serve as a kind of teaching facility on the subjects of load-shifting, voltage support, off-peak charging, and demand response for an industrial setting -- i.e., an automobile manufacturing plant. Kudos to Ford for the teachable moment, but we know it can do better: the outfit's Dagenham Diesel Center in the UK is powered completely by on-site wind turbines. And we think they will do better: it tells us it's still investigating the possibility of a wind energy component for this and other facilities. You're welcome, Ma Earth.