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Ann Arbor Considers Community Solar Projects

Sep 10, 2013

There may come a time when Ann Arbor residents team together and invest in communal solar energy projects. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, Ann Arbor officials are calling on the state to remove the barriers that prevent such projects from being developed.

The city of Ann Arbor is  asking state officials for permission to launch a "community solar" pilot program.  If approved,  it would allow multiple residents to invest together in a single solar power system.  the energy created would be shared among those residents, and excess power returned to the grid. Mayor John Hiefjte says community solar projects would have a greater impact than solar iinvestmentss made separately by the same number of individuals. The Mayor adds that it would also encourage residents whose homes are too shaded for solar to invest in green energy.  Hiefjte says solar power already exists across the city from historic homes to businesses, and community solar would expand green energy efforts.  In addition to requesting the pilot program, city council is asking state lawmakers to make community solar legal across Michigan.