DTE Energy will soon start construction on a solar panel array in Ypsilanti. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Barry LaRue, a trustee with the Highland Cemetery Association, about the solar array project and why the cemetery is the right place to house a renewable energy system.
*Plans for a large solar panel array in the Highland Cemetery are moving forward, and the remaining approval process is expected to move along without issue. Construction is slated to begin this month, and the array should be running by this summer.
*Ypsilanti has a track record of finding ways for solar to be compatible with historic preservation; the Ypsilanti Food Co-op, City Hall, Corner Brewery, 323 Oak, 305 Maple, 206 Oak, 305 Washington, Glover House, and Ypsilanti Library on Michigan Avenue are examples.
*DTE says that the project is part of its effort to meet state mandates for renewable energy (The 10% by 2015 mandate was reached in 2015 by DTE, and they are currently required to remain at 10% or more, but this could change with policy.
*Barry LaRue, Trustee, Highland Cemetery Association, is a historic preservation enthusiast and a lifelong Ypsilanti resident, and he says funds from leasing the land for the cemetery array will help the Board fund the restoration of the property's historic chapel, mausoleum, and caretakers' cottage, which are projects it hasn't been able to afford on a tight budget. This project also makes Ypsilanti a leader in renewables in Michigan and nationally.