Ford’s largest ever energy efficiency contract saves more than $350 million
Ford Motor Company
 

Background

Ford Motor Company is a global leader in the automotive industry, manufacturing or distributing automobiles across six continents. Based in Dearborn, MI, it has 67 plants and 197,000 employees worldwide.

As part of its holistic approach to reducing the environmental impact of its manufacturing facilities, Ford has set aggressive global, companywide targets that include decreasing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.


Approach

With an established track record of providing complex energy technology solutions in several Ford Motor Company plants, Worthington Energy Innovations was awarded the auto manufacturer’s largest ever energy efficiency contract.

The scope of the 10-year project to reduce utility costs encompassed retrofitting 12 Ford manufacturing plants and administrative offices in the United States and in Canada — 25 million square feet of space used daily by 160,000 workers.

As part of this partnership, Worthington Energy Innovations’ project work:

  • Shut down steam power generation systems for conversion to its unique “Liquid Chimney” design with a more efficient closed-loop hot water distribution system
  • Improved energy transfer efficiency significantly with the hot water system; the system design can be 98 percent efficient compared to about 50 percent for a steam system
  • Improved energy performance for heating by 40 to 50 percent and for absorption chillers by 70 to 80 percent with the direct contact hot water system
  • Eliminated the need for ductwork, reducing the cost of moving air by as much as 88 percent
  • Sized, modulated and controlled the hot water system components to fill real-time building demand instead of supplying energy at a constant peak load level with steam

Results

Worthington Energy Innovations’ transformative project enabled Ford to save more than $350 million in energy and avoided maintenance costs — more than double the $150 million guaranteed to the auto manufacturer over the contract’s 10-year term.

Substantial savings also were gained in utility costs, and greenhouse gas emissions dropped significantly:

  • 54% decrease in natural gas usage
  • 46% decrease in electricity usage
  • Annual decrease of 371, 247 metric tons of carbon dioxide
  • Annual decrease of 112 metric tons of nitrogen oxides
  • Overall indoor air quality improved 300%

The project required no capital costs to Ford. Worthington Energy Innovations’ expertise at standardizing the project’s engineering and scaling it across multiple plant sites resulted in all work being completed on time and under budget — in just a 30-month timeline.