All of GM’s Detroit Operations To Run On Energy From Wind, Sun In Three years

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n three years, General Motors expects all its facilities in southeast Michigan to run on clean and renewable energy.

The automaker has purchased 500,000 megawatt hours of solar energy from DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program, GM said Monday.

DTE said the investment will support nearly 1,500 clean energy jobs in Michigan during project construction.

GM’s investment in MIGreenPower should deliver enough clean energy to run GM’s southeast Michigan facilities by 2023, GM said. That includes its global headquarters in the Renaissance Center in Detroit, the GM Global Technical Center in Warren, the Milford Proving Ground in Milford and two assembly plants, Orion and Detroit-Hamtramck.

GM makes the Chevrolet Bolt electric car at Orion Assembly and the automaker is currently retooling Detroit-Hamtramck to build the GMC Hummer electric pickup, the self-driving Cruise Origin and other future EVs.

GM said it will also supply energy to several smaller GM sites in metro Detroit.

Clean energy is carbon-free energy that emits little to no greenhouse gas. Renewable energy is  derived from sunlight, wind, water and geothermal heat. 

GM has said it is adding workplace charging stations, to be powered by wind and solar, at its facilities in southeast Michigan as well.

“Not only should this agreement reduce emissions in the near term, it’s a glimpse into a world with electric vehicles, built by renewable energy, and in the case of our workplace chargers, charged by a green grid too,” said GM’s Chief Sustainability Officer Dane Parker.  

The automaker has said it intends to eventually offer an all-electric vehicle lineup, starting with its luxury brand, Cadillac.

In February last year, GM bought 300,000 MWh of wind energy from the MIGreenPower program. This latest purchase brings GM’s total amount to more than 800,000 MWh, or the amount of electricity consumed by more than 100,000 homes in an average year, GM said.

The MIGreenPower program is available to all DTE Electric customers who want more of their energy use to come from DTE’s wind and solar energy operations.

GM’s investment will pay for two new DTE solar parks that are in development and will be among the largest in the state. GM’s first MIGreenPower purchase paid for three wind parks scheduled to start commercial operation at the end of this year.

“DTE is grateful to GM for their commitment to building a clean energy future for Michigan,” said, Trevor Lauer, president and COO, DTE Electric. “We encourage all of our customers to sign up and help us accelerate renewable energy development in Michigan and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

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