Ford Plant To be Redeveloped for Cleantech Manufacturing

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced plans to sell its idled Wixom Assembly Plant near Detroit to be redeveloped into a renewable energy manufacturing park.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but Clairvoyant Energy and Xtreme Power plan an initial investment of $725 million to redevelop the 320-acre site and its 4.7 million square feet of plant space.

The two companies will utilize approximately half of the square footage to manufacture their products, and will seek additional green-energy manufacturing and support companies to lease the remaining space. The redevelopment work at the Wixom site is expected to begin early next year with manufacturing at the site slated to begin in late 2011.

Xtreme Power of Austin, Texas, will renovate more than 1 million square feet of the Wixom site to manufacture large-scale power systems that store renewable energy such as solar and wind power and redeliver that power when needed.

Clairvoyant Energy of Santa Barbara, Calif., will redevelop a portion of the site to build thin-film solar panels using technology developed by Oerlikon Solar. Clairvoyant said it will have the capacity to produce more than 2.5 million solar panels a year at the facility.

Oerlikon Solar USA plans to establish a regional office at the Wixom site. 

The redevelopment plan is expected to create more than 4,000 direct renewable energy jobs, including local suppliers, as well as support thousands of indirect jobs.

Ford said it has been working with the developers and state and local officials over the past nine months on a redevelopment plan for the 52-year-old auto plant that has produced such iconic vehicles as the Ford Thunderbird, Ford GT and Lincoln Continental.

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