Ford claimed its newly agreed deal with DTE Energy in Michigan was the “largest renewable energy purchase from a utility in US history”.
Through its MIGreenPower programme, DTE would add 650 megawatts of new solar energy for the automaker, increasing the total amount of installed solar in Michigan by almost 70%.
By 2025, every Ford vehicle manufactured in Michigan will be assembled “with the equivalent of 100% carbon-free electricity”, 10 years earlier than the automaker’s global goal.
The purchase of carbon-free electricity would avoid as much as 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, Ford claimed, while advancing its progress towards carbon neutrality and also also create jobs and tax revenue in the state.
“This unprecedented agreement is all about a greener and brighter future for Ford and for Michigan,” said president and CEO Jim Farley in a statement.
Since 2009, DTE’s investments in renewable energy have created 4,000 jobs in Michigan and the utility estimated construction of the solar arrays would create 250 temporary jobs and 10 permanent jobs.
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Local communities which host such renewable energy projects also benefit from the additional tax revenue these projects generate – the revenue can be used for community support services including roads, schools, libraries and first responders.
Jerry Norcia, chairman and CEO, DTE Energy, said: “Ford was the first large industrial customer to enroll in our MIGreenPower program in 2019 and we thank it for its continued commitment to using MIGreenPower to help
decarbonise its operations and meet its sustainability goals.”
Ford is purchasing carbon-free electricity through DTE’s MIGreenPower programme, which is among the largest voluntary renewable energy programmes in the US. The company has 600 businesses enrolled along with 62,000 residential customers. On an annual basis, customers have enrolled 2.8 million megawatt hours of clean energy in the programme, which avoids 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
DTE is Michigan’s largest producer of renewable energy and the company plans to add thousands of megawatts of new clean energy projects to support the programme.
Ford claims to be one of the first US automakers to align with the international community to limit the impacts of global warming as part of the Paris Agreement.
Since 2016, the automaker has invested $10 billion in Michigan and created or retained 10,000 jobs. This includes refurbishing Michigan Central Station, developing a research and engineering campus in Dearborn and creating Ion Park in Romulus.