DTE Energy, a Detroit-based diversified energy utility, will add 650 MW of new solar energy capacity in Michigan for Ford Motors by 2025. The purchase is a strategic investment in Michigan through DTE’s MIGreenPower program and is the largest renewable energy purchase ever made in the U.S. from a utility, based on according to BloombergNEF’s New Energy Outlook 2021.
“This unprecedented agreement is all about a greener and brighter future for Ford and for Michigan,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Today is an example of what it looks like to lead… to turn talk into action.”
Michigan is currently ranked 24th in the country for solar installations, receiving .64% of its electricity from its 927 MW installed, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The solar capacity to be added by DTE will increase the total amount of installed solar energy in Michigan by nearly 70%.
Two years ago Ford Motor Company announced its intention to achieve carbon neutrality globally by 2050, with interim targets set. With this 650 MW of solar installed, the company will be able to attribute all its electricity supply in Michigan to clean energy.
Ford is purchasing carbon-free electricity through DTE’s MIGreenPower program, which, to date, has more than 600 businesses enrolled, along with more than 62,000 residential customers. On an annual basis, MIGreenPower customers have enrolled 2.8 million megawatt hours of clean energy in the program, which has the environmental benefit equivalent to avoiding 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
“We want to congratulate Ford Motor Company for its environmental leadership and commitment to clean energy,” said Jerry Norcia, chairman and CEO, DTE Energy. “Ford was the first large industrial customer to enroll in our MIGreenPower program in 2019 and we thank Ford for its continued commitment to using MIGreenPower to help decarbonize its operations and meet its sustainability goals.”
DTE reports that since 2009 its investments in renewable energy have created more than 4,000 Michigan jobs. DTE estimates that the construction of the solar arrays will create 250 temporary jobs and 10 permanent jobs.
“I want to congratulate DTE Energy and Ford Motor Company for taking this significant step to increase our state’s solar energy production and to position Michigan as a leader in climate action,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Efforts like this are the reason Michigan had the best job growth for energy-sector jobs in the country last year, which will help to advance our state’s decarbonization goals, create good-paying jobs and strengthen our economy. As outlined in our state’s MI Healthy Climate Plan, we must take immediate, tangible steps to mitigate climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so we can achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. Steps like this collaboration between Ford and DTE are helping to move our entire state forward, building on our automotive legacy while protecting clean air and water for future generations.”
In addition to its goal of carbon neutral manufacturing, Ford has added clean energy models to its fleet, and building battery manufacturing facilities to ensure a steady supply. In 2021 the company announced a partnership with SK Innovation, saying they plan to invest $11.4 billion at two sites in Kentucky and Tennessee to produce electric F-Series trucks and the batteries to power future electric vehicles. A $5.6 billion facility in Stanton, Tennessee, called Blue Oval City, was also announced, with plans to serve as a vertically integrated system for Ford to assemble electric F-Series vehicles. It will include a battery plant, suppliers, and recycling.
In February of this year, Ford announced that it had teamed up with Sunrun to enhance home energy management, leveraging the substantial onboard battery capability of the Ford Lightning with Ford Intelligent Backup Power, to give customers the ability to use bidirectional power technology from their all-electric truck to provide energy to their homes during an outage, or to reduce their reliance on the grid when electricity prices are high.
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