Ypsilanti Featured in Michigan Clean Energy Report


Michigan Saves has just published two new reports, one profiling the clean energy efforts in seven Michigan communities, which features Ypsilanti as one of those communities. The other is a statewide profile of energy use and deployment of four clean energy technologies.

Page 9 shows a graph where Ypsilanti is tie with Holland Michigan for the most “Net Metering Capacity” and another graph that shows Ypsilanti with the most “Net Metering Installations”. A summary of Ypsilanti’s efforts starts on page 35 and starts with this paragraph.

“Ypsilanti is a city of almost 20,000 people located in southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor. Ypsilanti has been a leader in deploying clean energy technologies, particularly at the community level. Programs like BetterBuildings for Michigan and SolarYpsi, a grassroots effort of private individuals/solar energy advocates, have been successful in reducing energy and expanding renewable energy use in the community. Residents and businesses are engaged in sustainability issues, and city staff believe that residents and businesses choose to locate there because of the sustainability ethos in the community.”

Let’s install more solar power and become the “Solar Destination” of the Midwest.



Solar Ribbon Cutting at The Senior Center

The fifth of the six solar installations from the anonymous donor is done and we’re having a ribbon cutting. Come join us at the Senior Center at 1015 N. Congress in Ypsilanti on June 25th from 6:00 to 7:00pm. A short solar presentation will follow the ribbon cutting and solar experts will be on hand to answer your questions.


Ribbon Cutting at WiHi School and Ypsilanti Library

Five of the six solar installations from the anonymous donor are done. The final location, the carport at the Ypsilanti Department of Public Service, is just about done and when it’s roofed, the solar contractor will install the solar panels.

We had two more ribbon cuttings in the past couple of weeks, one at the Washtenaw International High School and one at the Michigan Branch of the Ypsilanti District Library. You can find pictures on their SolarYpsi pages, but here are two.

Ribbon Cutting at WiHi School
Ribbon Cutting at WiHi School
Ribbon Cutting at Ypsilanti District Library
Ribbon Cutting at Ypsilanti District Library

If you haven’t seen these installations yet, here are some aerial videos Cameron Getto put together.
Video of WiHi solar installation
Video of Ypsi Library solar installation

We also have live monitoring of the power being generated at these two locations. You can see those number here:
Live power monitoring at WiHi school
Live power monitoring at the Ypsilanti District Library

We’re scheduling the ribbon cutting for the Senior Center. Look for an invitation soon.

Pictures from Solar Ribbon Cutting at Parkridge and the Corner Health Center

Three of the six anonymous donor solar projects are done and the contractor is working on the library. The WiHi school ribbon cutting will be May 15th, but here are pictures from the Parkridge Community Center and the Corner Health Center.

Parkridge ribbon cutting.

Parkridge ribbon cutting

Corner Health Center ribbon cutting

Corner Health Center ribbon cutting

See more pictures the solar installation at the Corner Health Center and the Parkridge Community Center at SolarYpsi.org.

How to Finance Your Solar Project

Lets say that you are convinced that solar is for your home and all the economics works, but you just can’t come up with the up front money to pay for your solar installation. There are several ways to finance a solar project, here are two different way.

Michigan Saves

1) Personal unsecured loans of $1,000 to $30,000 at fixed APR not to exceed 7%.

2) Extended loan terms of one year per $1,000 up to $4,999; customer can pick term up to 10 years for loans $5,000 and higher (e.g., sample monthly payment for 3-year, $3,000 loan at 7% APR is $93; a 7-year, $6,000 loan at 7% APR is $91).

3) Loans for home improvements such as: new windows and doors; new furnace, boiler or heat pump; new appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators or ceiling fans. See the home improvements page for a full list.

4) Web and phone-based loan application system with quick decisions (within minutes) to facilitate “dinner table” sales.

5) Low rates with affordable monthly payments; click here to see estimated monthly payments for Michigan Saves loans.

6) No home equity required (unsecured loans).

7) Available for owner-occupied, single-family (1 – 4 unit) homes.

8) Qualifying energy efficiency improvements must be recommended by a comprehensive, whole-home energy assessment conducted by a certified auditor, or selected from a list of Qualified Home Improvements.

The first step when applying for a Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan is to find an authorized contractor. The contractor will help you identify qualifying improvements and initiate the loan application process.

Admirals Bank

1) No equity or appraisal required

2) No prepayment penalties

3) Flexible loan terms

4) Fixed rates

5) Interest and HUD insurance fees may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor)

6) No seasoning requirements

7) Borrowers looking for renewable energy products may apply any tax credits and/or local incentives to request a one-time re-amortization within the first 24 months of the funding date of the loan to lower, or ‘step down,’ monthly payments, provided certain requirements are met

8) Access to a team of renewable energy financing experts.

While I have never used either of these programs, Cameron Getto used Admirals for his solar projects and was very happy. Don’t let the up front payment deter you. Install solar power on your house today.

EMU Student Writes Paper about Energy Independence

Laura Hammonds, a student at Pennsylvania State University, called me in the Fall of 2013 asking for an interview to learn more about local activities in solar power. Here are her notes on the interview and her paper on Energy Independence.

Energy Independence: Renewable & Traditional Sources

Implications Paper Interview Notes

Petition Asking DTE to Build the Solar Array in Ypsilanti

DTE, Please Build your Solar Array In Ypsilanti

Dear DTE,

I love Ypsilanti and I support Solar. The Ypsilanti location is the smart choice for DTE and Ypsilanti and the solar farm as it reuses a landfill. The location has high visibility with over 100,000 cars pass it along I-94 every day and the property is immediately available. 


814 signatures

Share this with your friends:


In the Fall of 2012, DTE Energy asked communities for locations to install a large solar array from 500KW up to 2MW. DTE said that they would prefer locations in Detroit and along major expressways like I-94. more.

Solar installer SunDurance and the City of Ypsilanti responded with a proposal to install the solar array on the long abandoned City owned landfill along I-94 near Huron Street, exit 183.


Here are a couple of news articles about the project.
Ypsilanti officials optimistic about proposed $4M DTE Energy solar project on former landfill
DTE Energy: Proposed $4M Ypsilanti solar array project moving onto final selection round
With Ann Arbor airport solar plans stalled, Ypsilanti re-pitches DTE for array near I-94

Ypsilanti is Shovel Ready. The City Council has already approved the agreement. The location meets DTE’s requirement for high visibility along I-94 with over 100,000 cars driving past every day. Old landfills are a perfect location for a solar array making use of land that would otherwise sit idle forever. A ballasted solar rack design has no ground penetrations and poses little to no risk of disturbing the landfill’s contents. Ypsilanti is already very pro solar and well on it’s way of making itself a “Solar Destination”. Here are some other solar landfill examples.
Solar Landfills: the Future?
Hickory Ridge Landfill Solar Energy Cover

Share this with your friends and ask everyone you know to sign the petition. You don’t have to live in Ypsilanti to sign the petition and only your Name and City will be shared with DTE.

Latest Signatures
814Michelle LabelleApr 08, 2016
813Dwayne ReidJul 24, 2015
812kaitlyn maysJul 03, 2015
811noah turcsanyiJul 03, 2015
810Cameron ThomasJun 23, 2015
809abigail smallMay 25, 2015
808Samuel FinebergMay 18, 2015
807Kay BrainerdMay 04, 2015
806brianna woodsApr 30, 2015
805Emily WingfieldApr 20, 2015
804valerie wellsApr 15, 2015
803Nancy AsherApr 14, 2015
802Robert SatchwellApr 12, 2015
801Augusto LeeApr 09, 2015
800Daniel VogtApr 09, 2015
799Inge GaenssleApr 08, 2015
798Drew PhillipApr 08, 2015
797Isaac WingfieldApr 01, 2015
796James FishelsonMar 31, 2015
795Mary BurtonMar 30, 2015
794Marnia hardy Mar 23, 2015
793Carola CarlierMar 23, 2015
792Leah FoxMar 22, 2015
791Ashley FoxMar 22, 2015
790Alex GoodingMar 22, 2015
789Blaise HebertMar 21, 2015
788Chuck MarshallMar 20, 2015
787Charlotte payneMar 19, 2015
786Adam RobsonMar 19, 2015
785Julie SeagravesMar 19, 2015
784Elizabeth MainMar 17, 2015
783TINA KILGOREMar 16, 2015
782Mary MullalondMar 15, 2015
781Catherine MullalondMar 15, 2015
780Henry BraunzMar 15, 2015
779Cheryl WeberMar 14, 2015
778Steven LongMar 14, 2015
777Liano SharonMar 14, 2015
776Angela PetersMar 14, 2015
775David DeRossettMar 12, 2015
774Daniel HoppeMar 12, 2015
773Joshua StevermanMar 12, 2015
772Tony ReamesMar 12, 2015
771Christine HumeMar 11, 2015
770Maxwell KelleyMar 11, 2015
769Evan DorityMar 11, 2015
768Baylee HardingMar 11, 2015
767Margaret ArdenMar 11, 2015
766Aaron BookvichMar 11, 2015
765Jake AlbersMar 11, 2015

Ypsilanti still Hopeful for a Solar Array in Town

This was in the news recently. With Pittsfield Township and Ann Arbor arguing over the solar array near the airport, Ypsilanti reconfirmed their willingness for an array on our town.

With Ann Arbor airport solar plans stalled, Ypsilanti re-pitches DTE for array near I-94

SolarYpsi Year in Review – 2014

It’s been another interesting year for solar power in Ypsilanti and the surrounding area. We finished the year with about 50 solar installations on the website. I say “about” because some are very small, a single panel for WirelessYpsi in Frog Island, and some very large, like the Corner Brewery’s 140 panels. The important part is that the number of systems in Ypsilanti and the local area is growing. Of the 50 installations, 26 are in the City of Ypsilanti, and I know of 2 other system not on the website, and 5 systems that are in the process of being installed that should be finished by the spring.


The SolarYpsi.org website now has 183 documents which are mostly data sheets for solar panels, inverters, and racking system and 748 images of the 50 solar locations. Many thanks go to Steve Pierce at HDL.com for hosting the SolarYpsi website, and our continued thanks also goes to Nik Estep a graduate of EMU that built and still maintains the website.

New this year are aerial videos of the different solar installations around town. Cameron Getto is the drone pilot, videographer, video editor, and publisher. Cameron has made 14 approximately one minute videos which can all be seen on the SolarYpsi YouTube channel, youtube.com/SolarYpsi. The SolarYpsi FaceBook page that Steve Pierce started has also be growing in “likes” and followers. facebook.com/SolarYpsi

SolarYpsi got published in the national magazine HomePower, with an article about the solar installation at 323 Oak street and was also on the local TV show CitiTV Channel 19.

SolarYpsi continues to give solar presentations to small groups and individuals. In 2014 SolarYpsi gave 9 talks reaching 460 people face-to-face. Most of those reached where at the annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival where SolarYpsi has installed a large solar installation for the third year in a row.

The biggest news this year was the anonymous donor that is funding 5000-watt solar installation for six non-profits organizations around town. You can read about it here.

The most disappointing news of the year has been the lack of progress on the DTE solar farm that was planned for the South end of town near the highway.

Solar power is growing, but we really need to pick up the pace if we want to hit a 1000 roofs by 2020. A quick review of the SolarYpsi website shows the number of systems installed per year as 2 systems in 2009, 4 in 2010, 10 in 2011, 8 in 2012, 12 in 2013, and 12 in 2014.

The goal for SolarYpsi for 2015, our tenth anniversary, is to continue to promote solar within the City of Ypsilanti. We need to encourage more people to put solar panels on their homes and businesses and to continue to look for grants, donors, loans, etc that will lower the price for residents to install solar power.

The future continues to look bright, but we need more solar installation in the City of Ypsilanti if we want to become a “Solar Destination“.

SolarYpsi YouTube Channel

Cameron Getto has been making lots of aerial videos of the solar installations around Ypsilanti. While we have been putting links to those videos on the individual installation pages, it’s hard to view all of them one after another. To fix this, Cameron made a YouTube playlist which we have linked to on the SolarYpsi YouTube Channel. You can see it here.

Break out the popcorn and a yummy beverage, sit back and enjoy flying over some lovely solar installation.