Ann Arbor aims to have 100% of city's municipal government powered by renewable energy in 2035

Plans in works for $250 million solar farm in mid-Michigan
Posted at 5:11 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 06:08:38-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — The city of Ann Arbor wants 100% of the city's municipal government operations to run by renewable energy.

They are giving themselves 16 years or less to meet that goal.

One of the first projects is to use solar panels to power up a fire house.

Missy Stults is the Sustainability & Innovations Manager for Ann Arbor.

“We have the moral imperative to take action and do everything we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both for ourselves, as well as for frontline vulnerable populations,” she said.

Last year, the city set up a goal to have all their municipal operations to be powered by clean energy, like solar or wind, by the year 2035.

Taylor Lind is a member of the Students for Clean Energy at the University of Michigan

“Try to get some real world experience for students in our club,” Lind said,

The student organization contacted Stults, offering to help.

The first project they are working on is putting solar panels on Fire House 6.

Ann Arbor Fire Chief Mike Kennedy is very excited to be on board and says he’s learning a lot on how to reduce their carbon footprint and better serve the community.

“If there were to be a loss of power, if we are able to generate our own that’s always an ideal thing, in an addition to emergency backup power,” he said.

Cloudy days won’t stop the panels from working.

“The sun is still shining even though we can’t see it,” Stults explained. “It’s just not shining as brightly, perhaps. Panels will still be generating, even on cloudy days.”

The students created a crowdfunding site.

They have less than a month to raise $10,000, which will cover the up front costs of the $80,000 project.

They are hoping to start installing the panels in June.

Lind added, “We are just excited to keep this project going and to continue this relationship with the city of Ann Arbor, to keep Ann Arbor clean.”

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