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General Motors invests in wind power in Michigan

Steve Rogerson
March 6, 2019



General Motors plans to use 100% renewable energy for its global technical centre in Warren and its Detroit-based operations at the Renaissance Center following a deal with Detroit-based diversified energy company DTE Energy.
 
As part of its commitment to increasing its renewable energy footprint globally and finding clean energy near its operations, GM has partnered with DTE Energy for 300,000MWh of wind energy in the state of Michigan. The 300,000MWh are equivalent to the amount of power consumed by nearly 30,000 US households per year.
 
To date, GM has contracted or invested in a total of 1.71TWh of clean energy power in North America, equivalent to more than 145,000 households and more than any other car maker in the region.
 
GM will source the wind power through an agreement with DTE Energy’s MIGreen Power, a renewable energy programme that lets DTE’s customers attribute up to 100 per cent of their energy use to DTE clean energy projects in Michigan. In January, DTE received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission to offer a MIGreen Power programme designed for major Michigan corporations and industrial companies who want access to more renewable energy to meet corporate sustainability goals.
 
"Investing in renewable energy remains an important part of GM's vision for a zero emissions future," said Rob Threlkeld, global manager of sustainable energy for General Motors. "Our partnership with DTE Energy will help us get closer to achieving our goal of powering all our operations in Michigan with 100 per cent clean energy. It helps demonstrate that local and regional industry partnerships are paramount to GM’s clean energy future, where renewable sources will account for 100 per cent of our global energy footprint by 2050.”
 
DTE plans to build or acquire additional clean energy projects and expand MIGreen Power to meet increasing demand. It will begin sourcing to GM once the first new projects are on line.
 
As the state’s largest producer of renewable energy, DTE will more than double its renewable energy generation capacity, investing an additional $2bn in wind and solar by 2024. As part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 per cent by 2050, DTE is increasing the amount of clean energy in its generation portfolio.
 
“Knowing that access to more renewable energy is important to our largest corporate and industrial customers, DTE will continue to expand MIGreen Power to help customers meet their sustainability targets,” said Trevor Lauer, president and COO of DTE Electric. “We appreciate GM’s environmental leadership and are excited that we can partner with them through MIGreen Power to deliver on their clean energy goals.”
 
The MIGreen Power agreement comes on the heels of GM reaching a fifth of its global energy supply from renewables. GM is a member of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance and an early signatory of RE100, a collaborative global initiative uniting influential businesses committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity, working to increase demand for and delivery of renewable energy.
 
“Our 100 per cent renewable energy commitment, along with our pursuit of electrified vehicles and responsible manufacturing, is part of GM’s approach to strengthening its business, improving communities and addressing climate change,” said Threlkeld.
 
DTE Energy is involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services across the USA. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.2 million customers in south-eastern Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE portfolio includes energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, renewable natural gas, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading.