DTE Energy and Ford Fuel Up Sustainability with SMA

Trish Morattoby Trish Moratto (guest post), , 0 Comments
Solar and Storage project in Michigan

SMA America and J. Ranck Electric, have partnered with DTE Energy and Ford Motor Company to install a new rooftop solar array and integrated battery storage project. The installation sits atop the roof of a parking structure at the Ford Research and Engineering Center in Dearborn, Michigan. At this location, Ford designs, manufactures, and markets a full line of trucks, utility vehicles and cars.

The array comprises more than 2,100 Talesun 400-watt modules, 12 SMA Sunny Tripower CORE1 inverters and a battery storage system. These elements combine to produce 1,127 megawatt hours of energy per year.

Ford commissioned the project to reduce carbon emissions and capture enough energy through the battery storage technology to charge electric vehicle charging stations. Commissioned in early June, the project with SMA kicked off just in time to catch the summer sunshine.

“We selected SMA because of their experience in rooftop inverter applications,” said Harry Shah, project manager with J. Ranck Electric. “After the initial design was complete, a change to the NEC required us to install rapid shutdowns on each module. The SMA inverters had the capabilities to take a signal from these units, allowing us to be code compliant with fire safety, without any major changes to the project design.”

The City of Dearborn has high fire safety standards. To meet those standards, JRE worked with engineers and both the customer and the owner to understand the requirements and include them in the upfront design of the battery storage technology.

That battery system will be used to power the brand-new electric vehicle chargers Ford is installing in the parking structure. Thanks to the installed system, those vehicles will be charged with renewable energy—not power taken from the grid.

DTE Energy, is Michigan’s largest producer of renewable energy. The company’s 18 wind parks and 32 solar arrays generate enough clean energy to power nearly 700,000 Michigan homes.

The Ford project in Dearborn was built on that earned expertise and that of JRE and SMA.

“We’re proud to partner with J. Ranck Electric on this DTE Energy project at the Ford Motor Company, a corporation leading the way in sustainability,” said Chuck Ellis, vice president of sales with SMA America. “In this collaboration, all the organizations bring their specific expertise, and the result is an exponentially positive impact on the environment and the residents in Michigan.”

Visit our picture gallery for more visuals on this amazing project.


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