A new report by Environment Michigan's Research and Policy Center suggests Ypsilanti leaders set a new goal of 1,000 roofs by 2020 and outlines steps the city can take to make that happen.
"For such a small city, Ypsilanti ranks third for concentration of solar projects," says Virginia Shannon of Environment Michigan. "It's already leading the way. It's a really exciting goal. It's also definitely reachable and realistic."
The report was presented during an event at the Ypsilanti Food Co-op on Monday with representatives from Environment Michigan, Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and SolarYpsi, among others.
The study recommends the goal of 1,000 solar roofs in Ypsilanti can be reached with the following four steps: leading by example by employing solar roofs on city and historic buildings; promoting and streamlining information for the public on financing options for solar roofs; partnering with non-profits, business and Eastern Michigan University to build awareness an educate the public; and supporting policies at all levels of government that promote solar energy.
"The report highlights the ability of solar to become a point of pride and identity for the community," says Shannon. "The mayor and others are always talking about how to make it a destination college town and a sustainable community. Solar helps in both ways."
According to Shannon, reaching this bold goal of covering 1,000 of Ypsilanti's 5,000 homes with solar roofs is key to creating that identity. With 13 major solar projects already in place in Ypsilanti and classes in solar technology offered at EMU, this distinction is intended to further the community's identity as a place to both learn about and become involved in solar energy.
Source: Virginia Shannon, Environment Michigan
Writer: Natalie Burg