POWERING FORD’S TRANSFORMATION
A transformation is taking shape across Ford Motor Company’s World Headquarters campus in Dearborn, Mich. From a new 700,000 square-foot Design Center, to “connected facilities” and new green spaces, more than 1.3 million square feet of space is being reworked as part of a massive, 10-year renovation.
That required Ford to re-examine its energy needs. “In the last two years, our focus has been infrastructure. Energy is one of the most important infrastructure elements, and having more reliable power, to support our facilities for the next 50 years is a very important aspect of our transformation plan,” said George Andraos, Director, Engineering & Energy, Ford Motor Co.
As in much of the country, Ford’s campus was powered by infrastructure dating back 50-60 years that was not designed to meet modern demands. “As we began developing our infrastructure plan, we realized the need for more capacity and reliable power,” said Andraos. “We turned to our partners, DTE and ITC, for a solution that would provide greater reliability and redundancy.”
The solution: replace the existing three distribution circuits to Ford’s campus by connecting to a new 120,000 – 13,200 volt (120 kV to 13.2 kV) substation that would connect to ITC’s existing 120 kV Crestwood –Arctic transmission line via a new half-mile 120 kV underground transmission line. Construction began in the fall of 2017 and was completed in early 2018.
“It was a great effort between DTE, ITC and Ford, looking for the most effective way to bring two redundant 120 kV lines into our site, and, being able to execute this project successfully took lots of effort from all sides,” said Andraos. “Having reliable power is essential, and working in an urban environment to get more reliable power here was not without its challenges – getting easements and permits, dealing with tight schedules and locations. Without the effort of all of us working together, and the effort of the community, it would have been very difficult to achieve success. In the end, the benefit of this project to Ford is tremendous.”
“Without the effort of all of us working together, and the effort of the community, it would have been very difficult to achieve success.”–George Andraos, Ford Motor Co.