All of Detroit’s municipal buildings are going to be powered by neighborhood solar as part of the city’s efforts to combat climate change – check out the city’s cool grassroots plan.
Rock Solar City.
The city has determined that it’s going to need around 250 acres of solar panels in order to achieve 100% solar power for its municipal buildings. So it’s come up with a mutual back-scratch plan in which neighborhoods and block clubs are invited to apply to host solar farms in their areas, and if they do host, then they also reap the benefits.
Solar field sites must be between 10 and 50 acres, and for every solar acre assembled, $25,000 in community benefits will be available for neighborhood projects such as park and recreation improvements, home repairs, and solar power for neighboring homes.
Ray Solomon, director of Detroit’s Department of Neighborhoods, said:
If we decide a neighborhood’s proposal is a good fit, we will have conversations with the residents to determine what they want and need to help create more energy-efficient and climate resilient homes, or to improve their shared spaces.
Another benefit of the plan is that it could fight blight, as vacant tracts would be turned into fenced-in solar parks and would thus curb illegal dumping.
Groups of at least five neighbors can fill out a community interest form on the city’s website starting July 1, and applications will be accepted through October 2. Neighborhoods that apply can request to be paired with a nonprofit or other solar energy expert – a “Neighborhood Solar Partner” – to help them draft their plan.
The city stressed in its announcement that solar fields will only be placed in neighborhoods that request them, and it’s put out a Request for Information from solar developers to help design the new solar parks. Decisions will be made this fall.
We look forward to seeing how this innovative project plays out.
Read more: This cement company is installing a 25 MW onsite solar farm
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