Stellantis, DTE announce 2nd-largest clean power deal of its kind in U.S.

Eric D. Lawrence
Detroit Free Press

Stellantis says it’s committing to a big boost in its clean energy purchases in Michigan in a deal with DTE Energy.

The automaker, which owns the Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat brands, issued a joint news release Monday with DTE committing to adding 400 megawatts of new solar projects in Michigan, which the release said would be enough to power 130,000 homes and allow it to avoid more than 670,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

The companies called it the “second-largest renewable energy purchase ever made in the U.S. from a utility,” following a similar announcement by Ford and DTE in August for 650 megawatts of new solar energy in Michigan.

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“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,” Mark Stewart, chief operating officer for Stellantis North America, said in the release. “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.”

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Jerry Norcia, chairman and CEO of DTE Energy, said in the release that “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.”

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Financial details of the Stellantis deal, through participation in DTE’s MIGreenPower program, were not released. The companies said Stellantis would be able to attribute 100% of its electricity usage at 70 facilities in southeast Michigan to solar power by 2026, which would reduce its carbon emissions in North America by 50% and across its manufacturing facilities by 30%.

DTE spokeswoman Cindy Hecht said the new solar projects would be in Michigan, with construction expected to begin in 2024, but the exact location, pending approval of the Michigan Public Service Commission, hasn’t been determined.

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Approximately 75,000 residential and 800 business customers are enrolled in MIGreenPower, Hecht said, calling it more affordable for customers because of its scale than if they installed their own rooftop solar panels. The electricity that’s generated is fed into the power grid, but because the solar projects aren’t directly connected to the Stellantis sites, “we say the usage is being ‘attributed to solar energy,’ ” Hecht said.

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