Double Dipping Your Year End giving

Solar-Home

As most of you know, SolarYpsi has not incorporated nor a 501(c)3, so we can’t directly receive any year end donations. However, I would like to suggest to everyone a way to “Double Dip” on your charitable contributions this year. Consider giving the gift of solar power instead of cash to your favorite charity.

Whether you love animal shelters, food banks, health centers, farmer’s markets, or any other organization doing great work, instead of giving cash consider giving a solar donation. This way you help both the charitable organization and grow solar power in our community.

Ask the organizations you support if they have solar power or would consider installing solar power on their building. Ask them if you can give a directed donation to go towards a solar installation on their building. If the organization needs help understanding solar power, SolarYpsi can help explain solar power and help them design a system for their building.

If we assume the receiving organization uses the same amount of power as a typical Michigan home of 600 kWh per month, a 5000 watt solar installation would make them 100% solar powered. A solar contractor should be able to install a typical system for about $3/watt, so a project would cost the organization about $15,000. Just yesterday I looked at my DTE bills for 2015 and added up all my charges and divide it by all the power I purchased and I’m paying about $0.19/kWh. This 5000 watt installation would make (20 kWh/day * $0.19/kWh * 365 days) $1,387 worth of power per year. A $15,000 donation for a solar installation would actually give the organization a minimum of $41,610 worth of power over the next 30 years.

The gift of solar power is the gift that keeps on giving and can supply power to an organization for the next 30 years! This frees up operations funds for doing more good in our community.

SolarYpsi Looking for a New Web Developer

SolarYpsi’s founding web developer, Nik Estep , is moving on to new projects, so we need to find a new person or company to take on the tasks of maintaining the website. The website uses MySQL, PHP, Google analytics, HTML, Google maps, cron jobs, Word Press, QR tags, and uses an API to pull data from the Enphase solar data collection site to plot locally on SolarYpsi. The website currently uses GitHub to manage bug fixes and feature requests.

The code base is very stable with over 60 solar installations map on the website. The content is added by other people, but the SolarYpsi web developer would need to fix occasional issues and implement new features as we grow the number of installations to hundreds of locations. Current feature requests include a way to sort the locations by size, installer, type of equipment, etc. We would also like to start pulling data from SolarEdge’s using their API. Any new ideas and/or feature would be welcomed.

Contact Dave@Strenski.com if you’re interested in helping out. We don’t have any money, so this would be a volunteer position.

Ypsilanti Featured in Michigan Clean Energy Report

graph

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.

Michigan_Clean_Energy_Report_Statewide_Profile_of_Energy_Use_and_Deployment_of_Four_Clean_Energy_Technologies

Michigan_Clean_Energy_Report_A_Profile_of_Clean_Energy_Efforts_in_Seven_Michigan_Communities

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.

SeniorCenter_RibbonCutting_Flier

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. 

[signature]

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.

Ypsi-DTE-site

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
http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/02/with_airport_solar_plans_stall.html