For the last few years, Ford has taken the lead in the green revolution as the automaker strives to reduce its carbon footprint to zero. Ford has taken a significant step toward its carbon goal through a clean energy agreement with DTE Energy.
Ford, Partner Hike Commitment To Solar
The clean energy agreement with DTE Energy means that Ford will soon be able to attribute its Michigan electricity supply to clean energy. Under the agreement announced recently, DTE will add 650 megawatts of new solar energy capacity in Michigan for Ford by 2025. The purchase is a strategic investment through DTE's MIGreenPower program, and it is the largest renewable energy purchase made from a utility in the U.S.
According to data collected by the Solar Energy Industries Assn. (SEIA), once installed, the new solar arrays will increase the total amount of installed solar energy in Michigan by nearly 70 percent.
"This unprecedented agreement is all about a greener and brighter future for Ford and for Michigan," said Jim Farley, president, and CEO, of Ford Motor Company. "Today is an example of what it looks like to lead … to turn talk into action."
Since 2009, DTE's 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. Local communities that host DTE's renewable energy projects also benefit from the additional tax revenue these projects generate. This revenue can be used for community support services, including roads, schools, libraries, and first responders.
DTE Energy Congratulates Ford
"We want to congratulate Ford Motor Company for its environmental leadership and commitment to clean energy," said Jerry Norcia, chairman, and CEO, of 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."
Ford is purchasing carbon-free electricity through DTE's MIGreenPower program, which is among the country's most extensive voluntary renewable energy programs. The company has more than 600 businesses enrolled in the program and more than 62,000 residential customers.
On an annual basis, MIGreenPower customers have enrolled in the program's 2.8 million megawatt hours of clean energy, which has the environmental benefit equivalent to avoiding 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 program.
"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 Gov. 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 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."
Ford Aligns With Paris Agreement
Ford manufactures more vehicles in the U.S., employs more hourly workers in America than any other automaker, and was one of the first U.S. automakers to align with the international community to limit the impacts of global warming as part of the Paris Agreement.
Michigan has been home to Ford since its founding in 1903. Since 2016, Ford has invested nearly $10 billion in Michigan and created or retained more than 10,000 jobs. This includes refurbishing Michigan Central Station, developing a new Ford Research and Engineering campus in Dearborn, creating Ford's Ion Park in Romulus, and more.
For more information on DTE's MIGreenPower program, please visit www.migreenpower.com.
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.