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Not many think of the Detroit area as a hub for demonstrating solar energy. That is, unless you visit Ypsilanti, a Detroit suburb and its renewable energy website, SolarYpsi.

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Solar Activism and Savings Grow in Detroit Suburb

Not many think of the Detroit area as a hub for demonstrating solar energy. That is, unless you visit Ypsilanti, a Detroit suburb and its renewable energy website, SolarYpsi.

Solar panels are saving money in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Not many think of the Detroit area as a hub for demonstrating solar energy. That is, unless you visit Ypsilanti, a Detroit suburb and its renewable energy website, SolarYpsi.

According to Dave Strenski, green energy activity is abundant in the metropolitan area, with the number of solar installations continuing to grow in Ypsilanti. In the summer of 2011 a house on South Huron, with three apartment units installed 55 solar panels. The fall of 2011 also saw the Corner Brewery win approval from the Ypsilanti Historic Commission to install 144 panels on its brewery. They hope to have that project completed by December of this year.

SolarYpsi is working with both these locations to provide information on its volunteer website and track their power generation details in real time. The purpose of this website is to provide a map of the various locations where solar power is being generated within the City of Ypsilanti. The goal is to provide a means for viewing how much solar power is being generated within the City at any given time.

SolarYpsi started in 2005 when the Ypsilanti Food Co-operative won a grant from the State of Michigan to install a small demonstration solar photovoltaic system on their roof. Volunteers installed a 4 panel, 760-watt system on the roof, plus a wall display that showed how much energy was being generated.

Following that, food coop volunteers created a traveling educational presentation to explain how solar power works in Michigan, and the advantages of tying solar installation into the local electricity grid. To date over 1,000 people have attended these presentations, and the response has stimulated ideas and planning for new projects, along with new requests for presentations.

SolarYpsi reports that with the help of DTE Energy connected its system to the electrical grid, and was among the first solar power generators in Michigan with a net-metering arrangement. Net-metering allows solar power systems to export excess power back to the local utility for credit, which can be used when the sun is not shining.

This marketing and information video, featuring Dave Strenski, works nicely at describing the overall project.

Congratulations are in order for the success of this energy saving project.

Photo: SolarYpsi

 

 
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Written By

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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