Stellantis Strikes Big Solar Energy Deal in Michigan

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Automakers are trying to clean up their act. Governments are stepping in with tighter regulations on emissions and fuel economy standards, while automakers are developing more efficient engines and electric vehicles. Cars are using less fuel than ever before, and the rise of EVs is cutting out fuel-burning and local emissions entirely. But, people are smart and know that the lifecycle emissions of a car start at manufacturing, so it’s also important for automakers themselves to clean up their operations as much as possible.

While the obvious answer is to install solar, wind, and other renewable generation (plus storage) on site to power their facilities directly, sometimes it’s just easier to have somebody else take care of cleaning up the power.

In an effort to go green without on-site renewables, Stellantis and DTE Energy have committed to adding 400 megawatts of new solar projects in Michigan. This will be enough clean energy to power 130,000 homes annually and avoid more than 670,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Stellantis recently announced plans to achieve carbon net zero globally by 2038. Reducing CO2 emissions by half is only the beginning — this power move will affect vehicles, supply chains, industrial sites, and more. With energy efficiency at the forefront of Stellantis’ concerns, it’s safe to say that big changes are coming.

By participating in MIGreenPower, Stellantis will be able to power all of its 70 southeast Michigan sites (manufacturing and non-manufacturing) with solar by 2026. This will reduce the company’s North American carbon emissions by 50% and its manufacturing emissions by 30%.

“While this day and this historic agreement are about clean and efficient power, I’d like to suggest that today is also about the power of partnerships in this new era of sustainable mobility,” said Mark Stewart, COO, Stellantis North America. “Our success — indeed our survival — will depend more and more on how completely we embrace the values of collaboration and partnership as strategic imperatives that help us achieve breakthrough business outcomes. This agreement is an outstanding example of how truly great companies like DTE Energy and Stellantis can unleash their passion and expertise to shape a more sustainable world for our customers and our communities.”

DTE’s MIGreenPower program is one of the most sizable voluntary renewable energy programs in America. Today, over 800 businesses and 75,000 residences are enrolled in the program. Customers have earned 4 million megawatt hours of clean power every year since its conception three years ago — advantageous to bypassing 3 million carbon dioxide emissions annually.

“We want to thank Stellantis for being a great partner, for joining MIGreenPower and for supporting the development of new solar energy projects here in Michigan,” said Jerry Norcia, chairman and chief executive officer, DTE Energy. “Investments like this accelerate our state’s transition to clean energy, create jobs and strengthen our state’s economy. Adding 400 megawatts of new solar for Stellantis will result in a cleaner environment for Michigan families, communities and businesses, and create hundreds of jobs during project construction.”

If DTE’s new CleanVision Integrated Resource Plan is approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission, the company will invest in a great deal of renewable energy projects, including solar and wind power, over the next two decades. This plan would also see DTE retire its coal plants sooner than initially planned and invest in developing new energy storage options — all part of DTE’s larger commitment to transitioning to cleaner sources of energy.

Featured image provided by Stellantis.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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