In partnership with SolarAfrica, Ford South Africa has announced that its Silverton production plant in Pretoria has gained solar power. This “pioneering” project signifies the first phase in Ford SA’s Project Blue Oval renewable energy programme to become 100 per cent carbon neutral. 


The large-scale solar array uses 30 226 solar panels to generate 13.5 MW of electricity. Thanks to this, 35 per cent of the Silverton assembly plant’s electricity comes from the sun. The project took 599 days and 35 000 hours to complete and created 121 jobs among sub-contractors involved in the construction and installation. Ford SA says approximately 59 tonnes of steel and 315 tonnes of aluminium were used for the locally manufactured solar carports. 

“The system’s output is equivalent to almost 224 000 light bulbs for an entire year”

“More than” 5 000 metres of medium- and low-voltage cabling were used to connect the solar PV panels to 120 three-phase 100 kW inverters and eight transformers. According to the company, the system’s power output of 13.5 MW is equivalent to almost 224 000 light bulbs or 12 171 average households for an entire year. 

“We are delighted to officially flip the switch and begin receiving 35 per cent of our electricity from the solar carports with the completion of the first phase of our Project Blue Oval renewable energy programme,” said Ockert Berry, VP of operations, Ford South Africa. “This project proudly puts the Silverton assembly plant on the map as part of Ford’s commitment to sustainability as we migrate our energy supply from fossil fuels to environmentally-friendly, renewable resources.”