Winds of Change: GM Teams with DTE on Michigan Wind Energy Project

  • Based in Los Angeles, Warren Clarke loves providing readers with the information they need to make smart automotive choices. He's provided content for outlets such as Carfax, Edmunds.com, Credit Karma and the New York Daily News.

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Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have forced automakers to produce vehicles that use energy sources that are cleaner than traditional fossil fuels, and this has broadened our options when it comes to green transportation.

Happily, that’s not the only way in which some carmakers are doing their part to take it easy on the environment. Some are taking a look at the way their facilities are powered, with an eye to seeking out more efficient alternatives.

In this vein, General Motors (GM) has teamed with DTE Energy on a project that will provide the automaker with 300,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power for a couple of its Michigan plants. Upon completion, the energy generated by this project will be enough to meet 100 percent of the electricity needs of two of GM’s Michigan facilities: its global technical center in Warren and its Renaissance Center operation in Detroit.

A Mighty Wind

The clean energy generated by GM’s DTE collaboration is enough to meet the automaker’s electrical needs in two of its Michigan facilities. (General Motors)

DTE is a Detroit-based energy company offering sustainable solutions. The amount of energy being produced by its collaboration with GM is massive. The 300,000 MWh that this project will generate is equivalent to the amount of power consumed by roughly 30,000 U.S. households throughout an entire year.

GM will obtain the wind power as part of a deal with DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower. This renewable energy program gives DTE customers the ability to source up to 100 percent of their energy use through the company’s Michigan-based clean energy projects. In January of 2019, DTE received permission from the Michigan Public Service Commission to roll out an MIGreenPower program specifically designed for Michigan companies that want access to cleaner energy solutions.

Green Day

GM hopes to eventually power all its Michigan operations with clean energy. (General Motors)

“Investing in renewable energy remains an important part of GM’s vision for a zero emissions future,” says Rob Threlkeld, global manager of Sustainable Energy and Supply Reliability 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 percent clean energy.”

So far, GM has contracted or invested in 1.71 terawatt hours of clean energy power in North America. GM claims its investment in clean energy is larger than that of any other carmaker in the region.

Notably, Ford has also teamed with DTE to source wind energy for use in powering its assembly plants.  All this means there are definitely greener days ahead for the automotive industry.


About the Author

  • Based in Los Angeles, Warren Clarke loves providing readers with the information they need to make smart automotive choices. He's provided content for outlets such as Carfax, Edmunds.com, Credit Karma and the New York Daily News.

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