Big renewable energy buy Ford OK’d by Michigan utility regulators | Daily News Byte


LANSING, MI – Ford’s plans to make the largest purchase in US history of renewable energy from a utility company have gotten the green light from Michigan utility regulators.

The State Public Service Commission on Wednesday, December 21, approved a 35-year contract between DTE Energy and the Michigan-based automaker for 650 megawatts of dedicated solar electricity. The deal puts Ford a decade ahead of its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

Ford will use the power to operate its manufacturing plants in Michigan. By 2025, every Ford vehicle produced in the state will be built with the equivalent of 100% carbon-free electricity.

DTE aims to develop 200 megawatts of solar energy generation by 2024 and 350 megawatts by 2025 to meet the terms of the special contract. The terms of the agreement remain confidential.

Ford retains the option to cancel the contract at the 25-year mark with one year’s advance notice.

Jim Farley, Ford’s president and chief executive officer, previously said the company’s unprecedented agreement with DTE is about a greener and brighter future for both the automaker and Michigan.

Once the infrastructure is installed, the renewable power purchase will increase operational solar energy generation capacity in Michigan by nearly 70%.

“I appreciate the work of Ford and DTE in finding a path forward and continuing to innovate the range of voluntary options available to customers seeking increased renewable energy,” said Dan Scripps, commission chairman, at the meeting this week in Lansing.

The commission on Dec. 21 also approved changes to DTE’s renewable energy plan to show Ford-specific solar projects in place of already approved projects that have been delayed indefinitely, either by supply chain issues or other factors.

DTE officials said the special contract with Ford and changes to its renewable energy plan will not change the company’s current revenue recovery mechanism, and that the renewable energy surcharge for all customer classes will will remain at zero.

Brian Calka, DTE’s vice president of renewable sales and project development, said they appreciate the state’s approval of the solar energy contract with Ford, noting the company’s leading role in clean energy development.

“Now with MIGreenPower clean energy commitments from Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors, DTE is working on the first, second, and third largest clean energy purchases by a utility ever in the US,” said by Calka.

MIGreenPower is DTE’s carbon-free energy program, among the largest voluntary renewable energy efforts in the country. The program includes 600 businesses and more than 62,000 residential customers.

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