DETROIT (Globe Newswire) — Through a new clean energy agreement with DTE Energy, Ford Motor Company will soon be able to attribute all its electricity supply in Michigan to clean energy, with officials calling it a “major step” toward Ford’s goal to reach carbon neutrality.
As part of the new agreement announced Wednesday, DTE will add 650 megawatts of new solar energy capacity in Michigan for Ford 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.
According to data collected by the Solar Energy Industries Association, once installed, the arrays will increase the total amount of installed solar energy in Michigan by nearly 70%.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
Ford is purchasing carbon-free electricity through DTE’s MIGreenPower program, which is among the largest voluntary renewable energy programs in the country. To date, the company has more than 600 businesses enrolled in the program 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. 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.
In a statement, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer congratulated DTE and Ford on the deal, which she called a “significant step” to increase the state’s solar energy production.
“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,” Whitmer said. “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,” Whitmer added.