Ford to use zero-emissions electricity to build its cars in Michigan

The emission reduction targets not only concern vehicles as such, but also the industrial centers where they are manufactured and the supply chain. In that sense, Ford plans to have a neutral carbon footprint by 2035, although in certain factories it will be achieved much earlier. An example is Michigan, its original factory, where the goal is to make zero-carbon cars by 2025.

This requires a strong investment in various areas. One of them has to do with the energy used in the factory, and in this sense Ford has just announced a new agreement with DTE Energy to add 650 megawatts of solar power capacity at Ford’s Michigan factory before 2025. This will make it possible to avoid the emission of up to 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The purchase is a strategic investment in Michigan through DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program and is also the largest renewable energy purchase ever made in the United States from a utility company. According to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association, once the new photovoltaic panels are installed, they will increase the total amount of solar energy installed in Michigan by 70%.

“This unprecedented agreement is about a brighter, greener future for Ford and for Michigan,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company. The goal is that by 2025, all energy used at the Michigan factory will be net zero carbon emissions.

It is important to highlight the term “net emissions”, since not all energy will come from renewable sources (both solar and wind power are intermittent, which could leave the factory without electricity at specific times). However, the emissions generated from other sources will be compensated so that, in global terms, the electricity used does not have carbon emissions. By 2035, Ford has a goal of making net-zero emission cars at all of its factories around the globe.

DTE estimates that the construction of the solar panels at the Ford factory will create 250 temporary and 10 permanent jobs. In addition, we must have the tax incentives generated by these projects. It should be noted that DTE is Michigan’s largest producer of renewable energy and plans to add thousands of megawatts of new clean energy projects in the coming years as part of the MIGreenPower program, in which more than 600 companies have signed up.

In addition to the obvious benefit in environmental terms, this agreement also has a strong symbolic component because it is about the factory, which is: Michigan has been the home of Ford since its founding in 1903. Since 2016, Ford has invested nearly $10 billion in Michigan, creating more than 10,000 jobs. This includes the renovation of the Michigan Central Station, the development of a new Ford Research and Engineering campus in Dearborn or the creation of the Ford Ion Park, a state-of-the-art center for batteries.

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