Detroit-based utility DTE Energy is teaming with Ford Motor Co. to build Michigan’s largest solar array at the Ford Research & Engineering Center in Dearborn.
The 2,159-panel array is located on the rooftop level of the Deck 400 parking structure. The array includes an integrated battery storage system and will be used to power newly installed EV chargers. The solar array can generate 1,127 megawatt hours of clean energy, which has the environmental benefit equal to the carbon sequestered by nearly 980 acres of U.S. forests in one year.
The new solar array is just one of several steps both companies are taking to reduce carbon emissions. In 2019, Ford became the first corporate customer to enroll in DTE’s MIGreenPower voluntary renewable energy program. Through the program, Ford is purchasing 525,000 megawatt hours annually of Michigan wind energy from DTE’s Isabella and Fairbanks wind parks.
“We are pleased to once again collaborate with DTE Energy to bring more efficient, renewable energy sources to our campuses,” said Dave Dubensky, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Land Development Corporation. “This is yet another example of our shared commitment to building a more sustainable future.”
DTE is Michigan’s largest producer of renewable energy. The company’s 18 wind parks and 32 solar arrays generate enough clean energy to power 670,000 Michigan homes. Through its MIGreenPower program, the company offers customers the opportunity to attribute up to 100% of their energy use to the company’s wind and solar projects.
“This is the third solar array we’ve constructed with Ford, and we want to thank them for their ongoing partnership,” said Trevor Lauer, president of DTE’s electric company. “Between the growth in the EV market and the transformation we are seeing in the energy sector, I believe we will begin to make real progress in the fight against climate change.”
As DTE works to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the company plans to continue adding clean energy projects to its portfolio. DTE plans to double its generation capacity from wind and solar by 2023 with the addition of one new wind park and five large solar installations. By the end of 2023, DTE’s renewable energy portfolio will include more than 2.2 million solar panels.