Ford, DTE Energy Partner to Power Dearborn Plant, Other Buildings with Wind Energy

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Ford Dearborn Plant
Ford is working with DTE Energy to power some of its buildings and plants, including the Dearborn Truck Plant, using wind energy. // Photograph Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Co.’s Dearborn Truck Plant, its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, several new buildings on the Ford Research and Engineering Campus, and its emerging Corktown campus in Detroit, which includes Michigan Central Station, soon will be powered by 100 percent locally sourced renewable wind energy in collaboration with DTE Energy.

This collaboration is part of a commitment by the automaker to a substantial renewable energy procurement through DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program, which will provide 500,000 megawatt hours of locally sourced Michigan wind energy. This is in addition to the 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system already in place at Michigan Assembly.

“Ford supports the implementation of renewable energy where the project can be tied to the customer’s facility, either directly or through the local distribution utility, and we believe that supports local jobs, improves the local environment and adds resiliency to the local grid,” says George Andraos, global director of energy and technology for Ford. “This project is a great investment for the State of Michigan and will have direct impact on our state.”

Andy Hobbs, director of Ford’s Environmental Quality Office, says, “Ford is proud to be a part of this initiative, as it builds on the early achievement of our aggressive 30 percent per vehicle carbon reduction target. That early achievement reduced the company’s annual footprint by 3.4 million metric tons.”

Ford plans to announce a new global carbon reduction strategy that will focus on renewable energy in conjunction with the launch of the company’s 20th annual Sustainability Report in June.

With MIGreenPower, DTE electric customers can join the company’s efforts to develop more Michigan-made renewable energy by matching their energy use to local wind and solar projects. In January, DTE received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission to expand its voluntary renewable offerings to include a tariff designed specifically for large corporate and industrial customers. Ford is the first company to announce involvement with this new tariff.

“Expanding MIGreenPower to help our largest corporate customers meet their sustainability goals is another milestone in our clean energy transformation,” says Trevor F. Lauer, president and COO of DTE Electric. “It’s exciting that iconic Ford vehicles like the F-150 will be built in a plant powered by DTE wind energy, and we appreciate the leadership role Ford is taking in reducing its carbon footprint and supporting our state’s clean energy economy.”

DTE says it plans to build additional renewable energy projects and expand MIGreenPower to meet increasing customer demand.

Meanwhile, Ford announced this week it will exit the commercial heavy truck business in South America. As a result, the company will cease production at the São Bernardo do Campo plant in Brazil during 2019, ending sales of the Cargo lineup, F-4000 and F-350 — along with the Fiesta small car — once inventories are sold.

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