Ypsilanti honored for its solar efforts

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Volunteers installed these solar panels in 2016 atop Growing Hope Farmer’s Market in Ypsilanti. Each of the 12 panels can deliver 250 watts of electric power.

Here’s a press release on Ypsilanti going solar. I guess Ypsi didn’t get the Paris Climate memo:

The City of Ypsilanti is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a gold designation for supporting solar energy development by SolSmart, a national organization dedicated to helping communities reduce barriers to solar energy growth. To achieve the gold designation, a community must take steps to streamline solar-panel installation permitting, track key metrics regarding solar installation, and commit to encouraging local solar installations. Ypsilanti is the only community in Michigan to achieve this award, and one of only 58 communities nationwide.

“Today is a step closer to a greener community,” said City Manager Darwin McClary. “We hope that this recognition will inspire surrounding communities to encourage solar energy development.” SolSmart is a new national designation program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Sun Shot Initiative through the Solar Powering America by the Recognizing Communities initiative.

“This award was made possible by former councilperson Anne Brown bringing the opportunity to SolarYpsi, which worked with the City to complete the SolSmart application and supply the necessary documentation,” said Dave Strenski. Strenski is the leader of SolarYpsi, a local community group that facilitates the installation of solar through offering free technical expertise and fundraising support.

“I applaud Ypsilanti for being a national leader in renewable energy use,” said Valerie Brader, executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy. “A diverse energy portfolio is important to Michigan and the state’s new energy laws call for an increased use of renewable power sources. Ypsilanti is making a strong commitment to being a leader in our new energy future.”

The City of Ypsilanti has long strived to be a leader in renewable energy and sustainability. In 2012, Ypsilanti was one of the first communities to adopt a climate action plan. In 2013, the City adopted a goal of 1,000 solar roofs or 5 megawatts by 2020 and is a fifth of the way towards that goal. In 2016, the City worked with SolarYpsi, DTE, and Highland Cemetery to install an 800 kilowatt solar field, and SolarYpsi worked with a private donor to install a 50 kilowatt installation on the fire department roof. This year, the city has established the Sustainability Commission to help propel the city on its economic, social, and environmental health-sustainability goals.

Jim McBee

Founding partner, creative director and ink-stained wretch with The Ann magazine.


  1. Avatar

    Brett Snyder

    June 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you for writing about this! Ypsi too often gets press and that has led people west of Carpenter Road to think we’re nothing but a bunch of hoodlums over here! Thanks again!

  2. Avatar

    Dave Strenski

    September 20, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Picture of Anne Brown and Dave Strenski receiving the award in New Your City. http://www.solarypsi.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/MG_0088.jpg