Automakers are building sustainability into their manufacturing process, especially GM and Ford. Following last year's power sourcing from solar panels, Ford Motor Co. has done more at its Michigan assembly plant, one of the state's largest solar power generation systems. The system is the result of collaboration between Ford, DTE Energy, Xtreme Power, the city of Wayne, and the state of Michigan -- and has been covered by Environmental Leader. DTE Energy installed the 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system at Michigan Assembly.
The public/private partnerships must work effectively for these projects to go anywhere. Perhaps there will be a thriving renewable energy industry with cash flow streaming from venture capitalists and stockholders. For now, it takes government agencies and funding, NPOs, and corporations to make it work. The Michigan Assembly project is funded by a $3 million investment from DTE Energy’s SolarCurrents program, a $2 million grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission in support of the state’s smart-grid initiative, and approximately $800,000 worth of in-kind contributions from Ford.