Issues Of The Environment: Ann Arbor Seeks Major Growth In Solar Energy

Jan 25, 2017

Solar Array
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Ann Arbor Solar Club is a cooperative effort aimed at adding 500 new solar installations throughout Washtenaw County this year and in each ensuing year.  In this week's “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU's David Fair talks with Nate Geisler, an Energy Programs Analyst with the city of Ann Arbor, about the initiative. 


Overview

   *   Ann Arbor hopes to increase rooftop solar installations tenfold, from 50 to 500 a year as part of the city’s plan to reach a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025.

   *   Group solar buying allows property owners to benefit from a group-discount for solar installation; more rooftop solar, spread out across the city and county, strengthens the robustness of the energy grid.

   *   In addition to the saving offered through the Ann Arbor program, federal tax credits are available for solar panel installation.  In November 2016, the Michigan Senate passed a bill that mandates that 15% of the state's energy come from renewable sources by 2021, and it upheld 10% energy choice.

   *   Some Ann Arbor residents have voiced concerns about increased property taxes for adding solar panels, and although city officials admit their hands are tied in this regard, they are working on a solution to offset the increased tax.

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 David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu