Solar Energy in the Midwest

Archive for the ‘LEED’ Category

Does solar work in Michigan? Customer video testimonial


Don’t believe us – watch our customers share their experiences with solar here in Michigan. We now have an indisputable source of real-time and historic metrics that the skeptics can’t deny anymore. Listen to our solar homeowners talk about zero utility bills and getting checks back from solar power generation.


Can Solar Panels and Historic Preservation Get Along?

Can Solar Panels and Historic Preservation Get Along?.

Kaid Benfield   Jun 25, 2012

I believe that historic preservation in the right context – a healthy neighborhood – can be intrinsically green. Most historic buildings, at least the ones constructed before the days of freeways and urban flight, are on walkable streets in relatively central locations. They represent embodied energy and materials that would be consumed if the same amount of space and the same function had to be constructed anew. Also, being built before “the thermostat age,” as my friend Steve Mouzon calls it, many of them were built with attention to climate and with locally sourced materials, giving them environmentally beneficial characteristics as a matter of design.

But, by definition, historic buildings do not have the latest technology unless it is added many years later. I agree with Steve that technology can be overrated as an environmental cure-all, but there are clearly some forms of green technology that can strengthen the environmental profile of older buildings. This raises the delicate issue of how much updating can and should occur without compromising the building’s historic character.

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Join us this weekend at Mission Zero Fest, Ann Arbor

Join us for: 

 Daren Griffith, Senior Project Manager for Mechanical Energy Systems, will be speaking in the Educational tent 4-5pm Saturday with Wayne Appleyard and John Wakeman about “Harnessing the free energy“.  Join him and bring your questions with you.

Mechanical Energy Systems designed and installed the solar systems on the home tours of Matt Grocoff’s home 217 S Seventh  St. and Scott Philips home at 723 Spring St.

For more information call us @ (734) 453-6746 or email


Application fees set for Ann Arbor’s new PACE program

Application fees set for Ann Arbor’s new PACE program.

By Ryan J. Stanton
Political Reporter

The Ann Arbor City Council on Monday supported the final step to fully implement the city’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy program.

A resolution approved by council sets the application fees for the PACE program, which is a special financing mechanism to help commercial property owners in Ann Arbor undertake energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Through the PACE program, qualifying property owners are able to borrow money for energy efficiency projects ranging from $10,000 to $350,000 and then pay back the loans through special assessments added onto their tax bills for up to 10 years.


Andrew Brix

The program is a joint effort of the city of Ann Arbor and Clean Energy Coalition. City officials believe the availability of PACE financing will support economic stimulation across the city, create jobs and reduce operating costs for business owners.For full article go to: Link

At Twins’ Ballpark, More Than Grass Is Green

by Susan DeFreitas, December 20th, 2011

As if being named the “Greenest Ballpark in America” (as per the U.S. Green Building Council) and earning LEED Silver certification for New Construction weren’t enough green cred, the Minnesota Twins and Target Field in Minneapolis-St. Paul has gone one better by earning LEED Silver certification in the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EB: O&M) category, making it the first professional sports franchise to do so.

LEED EB: O&M was developed to help building owners measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. The program has seen widespread success since it was first introduced in 2008, with green retrofits of existing buildings now outpacing certifications for new construction in terms of both numbers of projects and square footage certified for the first time in 2011.

Minnesota Twins Target Fieldimage via Minnesota Twins

The ballpark took its EB: O&M honors with a number of new green features, including a rainwater harvesting system installed by Minneapolis-based Pentair, which this year captured, purified and reused more than 686,360 gallons of rainwater. (The majority of the water captured went to wash down seating areas after games, but the plan is to use the recycled water to water and maintain the playing field in the future.) The ballpark also makes use of a unique waste-to-energy facility located adjacent to the field, which last year recycled 430.67 tons of waste from Target Field.

The ballpark uses 23 percent less electricity than a conventionally designed staduyn of similar size, and last year cut its energy consumption by just over 12 percent, despite having added a new videoboard. The Twins’ ballpark makes use of a comprehensive green cleaning program, reducing its use of chemical-based cleaning products by over 66 percent in 2011. The stadium and its concession partner, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, also donated more than 7,500 pounds of food to local charities during the 2011 season.

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