This month, we announced Toyota Motor North America’s enrollment in our MIGreenPower voluntary renewable energy program. By enrolling, Toyota joins companies like Ford Motor Company, Stellantis and General Motors, automakers that have made the three largest renewable energy purchases through a utility in U.S. history using MIGreenPower. With clean energy commitments from major automakers and 15 Detroit-based automotive suppliers, MIGreenPower is helping to transform the automotive industry and meet the demand for cleaner operations across the state.
“We’re in the Motor City,” said Knox Cameron, director, Renewable Solutions, DTE Energy. “It makes sense that the largest participating sector that’s responding to climate action is the automotive ecosystem.”
Unprecedented clean energy commitments
In 2022, we announced MIGreenPower commitments from Ford and Stellantis totaling 1,050 megawatts of new solar energy – 650 megawatts for Ford and 400 megawatts for Stellantis – which will increase the amount of installed solar capacity in Michigan by approximately 70% when the projects are fully developed and come online in the next few years.
Jim Farley, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company, called his company’s MIGreenPower commitment “unprecedented” and applauded its contribution to “a greener and brighter future for Ford and for Michigan” at the August 2022 press conference. Ford’s commitment to MIGreenPower means that every Ford vehicle manufactured in Michigan will be assembled with the equivalent of 100% carbon-free electricity, 10 years earlier than Ford’s global renewable energy goal.
Like Ford, Stellantis has aggressive carbon reduction goals, targeting carbon net zero globally by 2038. The company’s MIGreenPower solar purchase will enable Stellantis to attribute 100% of its electricity use at 70 southeast Michigan sites to solar projects. Mark Stewart, chief operating officer, Stellantis North America, called his company’s deal with DTE a “strategic imperative” needed to “achieve breakthrough business outcomes” and an example of the “power of partnerships in this new era of sustainable mobility.”
The ripple effect
MIGreenPower participation isn’t limited to the “Big Three” – many automotive manufacturers are taking a holistic approach to carbon reduction and leaning on MIGreenPower to help them meet their sustainability goals. In addition to Toyota’s recent enrollment, DTE has MIGreenPower commitments from Korean auto giant Hyundai, Japanese automaker Subaru, and North America’s Rivian Automotive, an electric vehicle manufacturer and automotive technology company. There are also 15 automotive suppliers currently enrolled in MIGreenPower.
“It really is a team effort,” said Cameron. “The ‘Big Three’ are engaged with their suppliers and passionate about greening the industry across the state of Michigan. That’s one of the reasons why the automotive sector has been so effective – the ripple effect.”
Global supplier All State Fastener (ASF) joined MIGreenPower in 2022. The company supplies automotive, construction, aerospace and medical industries and recently received the General Motors Supplier of the Year Overdrive Award. When ASF’s enrollment was announced, the company’s president, Tony Giorgio, said, “as the automotive industry continues to innovate, we want to contribute to the industry’s efforts to green its supply chain. DTE’s MIGreenPower program is helping us reduce our impact on the environment and meet our sustainability targets and those of our customers.”
Driving to a cleaner future
MIGreenPower is among the largest voluntary renewable energy programs in the U.S., and we’re seeing increasing customer demand for the program – not just from the automotive sector, but from a wide variety of industries as well as residential customers. MIGreenPower participants have already enrolled four million megawatt hours of clean energy in the program, which has the environmental benefit equivalent to avoiding more than three million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.*
MIGreenPower also plays a major role in our broader clean energy goals, helping us add more renewable energy to the grid as we work to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We are already Michigan’s largest producer of and investor in renewable energy, and over the next two decades, we plan to add more than 15,000 megawatts of new renewable energy projects. Our investment in renewable energy is helping us build a cleaner future while continuing to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers.
*Avoided emissions and equivalencies are based on the Environmental Protection Agency equivalencies calculator at epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator.