Ypsi Food Coop Solar Installation Ribbon cutting

Come join us at the ribbon cutting for the third solar installation at the Ypsilanti Food Cooperative. You can view the FaceBook invitation here.

The system is using Evergreen panels and Enphase micro inverters. We were able to get the installation cost under $3/watt. Here is a break down of the costs.


    solar panels  - $0.90/watt    (includes shipping and tax)
    inverters     - $0.98/watt
    racking       - $0.48/watt
    wire/hardware - $0.41/watt
    permits       - $0.07/watt
    electrician   - $0.15/watt

Many thanks to Chuck Hookham who reviewed the structural design of the rack for the solar panels and the many volunteers that helped haul, lift, rack, wire, and supported this project.

Here is a video of Josie explaining how the new solar installation.

Hope to see you at the ribbon cutting.

National Solar Tour 2013 in Ypsilanti

On October 5th, join the Nation Solar Tour by visiting the solar installations in and around Ypsilanti Michigan. SolarYpsi is organizing this year’s tour again with over 10 solar installation within walking distance of each other in the City of Ypsilanti, and several more a short ride away. All sites are listed on the SolarYpsi.org website with details about each installation.

We suggest visitors start by driving by GW Kent as they exit I94 (exit 183) and head North on Huron Street. They have almost 20kW on their roof, but it’s hard to see from the street. As you head North, stop at 403 South Huron and check out the 40 solar panels on the roof and car port in back. This location is actually three different systems, one for each apartment.

As you leave 403 Huron, turn left on Buffalo Street and then right on Washington to see a small 4 panel installation on the back of 314 S. Washington. Dawn will be around to tell you about her solar installation. From there turn right on Catherine and left back on Huron Street heading North. Before you enter downtown, stop at City Hall, at 1 South Huron, where Dave Strenski will be giving continuous solar talks and answering questions about solar power.

From there head over to the Ypsilanti Food Cooperative at 312 North River where you will learn about three different installations on their roof: a 2.3kW system installed in 2005, the 6.0kW system that powers 100% of the River Street Bakery, and the newest 4.0kW system. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and show you the inverters, panels, and meters. They will also be selling SolarYpsi t-shirts.

Then make your way over to Adams STEM Academy at 503 East Oak Street to see a solar awning installation up close on the side of the school. From there head over to 817 Hemphill where Larry will be explaining the solar installation that he’s been working on over the past summer. If you need a WiFi connection during the tour, stop by Frog Island Park, at 600 Market Place or Hamilton Crossing where there are free, solar power WirelessYpsi WiFi hot spots.

On the west side of Ypsilanti, you need to stop and visit Amy at 8 N. Mansfield. Not only is this a very visible 4kW installation on their garage, but Amy is a licensed electrical contractor and solar installer.

A good way to end the tour is to head over to the Corner Brewery where they have a very large installation of 140 Detroit made PowerPanels. They will have beverages on tap and food to recharge your minds. Garth from PowerPanel will be on hand to explain the Brewery’s solar installation and the unique technology of their panels that collect both electrical and thermal energy.

Don’t forget to visit some of the other solar installations in the area, either before or after you visit Ypsilanti, a “Solar Destination”.

City of Ypsilanti to Consider Resolution for a 1000 Solar Roofs

Last spring Environment Michigan approached SolarYpsi and encouraged us to propose a bold goal for a 1000 solar roofs in Ypsilanti. City Council was interested, but the quest came up as to whether there were a thousand available roof in Ypsi with good solar exposure.

Well it’s taken a while to get the data organized, but Profess William Welsh from Eastern Michigan University has overlaid tree cover maps with property boundary maps with building foot print maps. Just looking at residential properties Bill and his grad student Ben have been able to identify over 5000 roof tops with at lease some portion of their roof not covered by tress. They have also identified over a thousand residential roof with south facing roof pitches with good solar exposure.

So the question has been answered yes we have a thousand roof with good solar exposure and many more if we look at roof with partial exposure and even more if we consider commercial roofs.

City Council will be considering a resolution Tuesday night, Sept 3, supporting a resolution for a 1000 solar roofs. You can see the agenda here.

Passing this resolution will show Ypsilanti’s commitment to solar and renewable energies. This will not only save Ypsi residents money on their power bill but will also make Ypsilanti a “Solar Destination” attracting people and businesses to our town.

Environment Michigan made a very nice report about this project.

You can see the report here.

Once the resolution is passed we plan on sending a letter to the home owners in the City with good solar exposure and encourage them to consider solar power for their roofs.

Come to the City Council meeting and support this project. Help make Ypsilanti a “Solar Destination”.