Ford Motor Co. and DTE Energy on Wednesday announced what they're billing as the largest-ever renewable energy purchase from a utility in the U.S.
Under a purchase agreement between the two Michigan companies, DTE is slated to add 650 megawatts of new solar energy in the state to power Ford's facilities — enough to power 140,000 homes, according to Ford. The addition will increase the total amount of installed solar in Michigan by nearly 70% — and means that all of the electricity Ford uses to produce vehicles in Michigan will be produced with renewable energy, the automaker said.
“This is a big deal for us," Bob Holycross, Ford's vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, told The Detroit News. "Southeast Michigan is our home, and to be able to do this locally with DTE in the state of Michigan is entirely consistent with our longer-term aspirations and to not just benefit the environment, but when you think about the community and the job creation for constructing operations like solar and wind.”
The automaker previously announced a goal to power all of its global facilities with renewable energy by 2035. It's aiming to be entirely carbon neutral by 2050, with interim goals along the way. Holycross said the deal marks a "big step" in helping Ford hit its company-wide goals around eliminating carbon emissions.