Solar Powering Your Community

How can your community take advantage of all the benefits of solar energy? Join us on January 23 for a half-day workshop to find out.

How Southeast Michigan Can Lead Obama’s Clean Energy Economy

In June 2013, President Obama announced his national Climate Action Plan, which calls on America to lead international efforts to combat a changing climate. In his December 2012 Energy and Environment Address, Governor Snyder spoke about the importance of “energy reliability” and why it’s important that our state has the ability to produce its own Read more…

Sample solar and wind ordinances now available

Sample renewable energy ordinances for wind and solar energy are now available. Staff at the Regional Energy Office have begun compiling sample siting and zoning ordinances for renewable energy projects in residential areas. These samples are the beginning of a project that will identify best practices for small Michigan cities. This project came at the Read more…

Vermont Streamlines Solar Regulations

Vermont legislators enacted a bill recently that streamlines the process for small-scale solar installations, opening the door for residential and commercial customers to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with less red tape. “Aside from time, a recent report produced by SunRun estimated that permitting adds roughly $2,500 to the cost of an average residential installation.” – from Read more…

Washtenaw County installs solar water heating (with video)

Solar Hot Water Panels washtenaw county

Washtenaw County wanted to implement renewable technology as part of their Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), but wasn’t sure what locations and systems would make the best use of their grant dollars. So the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office helped the County examine water heating needs in county buildings determine which buildings would be Read more…

Southgate installs solar panels and efficient lighting (with video)

The City of Southgate has been taking some bold steps to reach its goal of reducing the City’s energy use by 25% by the year 2015. They found two cost-effective, long-term solutions to their energy needs. Efficient lighting upgrades First, the city reduced its total energy use by replacing their light bulbs with more efficient Read more…

Using a PPA to finance city solar projects

Power Purchase Agreement Checklist (from NREL)

A solar photovoltaic (PV) power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financing mechanism available to state and local governments looking to use solar PV technology to generate clean, renewable energy. This 12-page fact sheet addresses the financial and legal aspects of setting up a PPA but not the technical details.