Solar Energy in the Midwest

Archive for the ‘Washtenaw County’ Category

Clean Energy Coalition :: bridging needs. advancing change. :: Green Fleets

Clean Energy Coalition :: bridging needs. advancing change. :: Green Fleets.

Based on data drawn from an Argonne National Laboratory model, Green Fleets projects will displace at least 1.5 million gallons of petroleum per year, and more than 13 million gallons during the anticipated average 10-year equipment life cycle. The clean fuel vehicles that Green Fleets deploys won’t only displace imported petroleum; they’ll also reduce emissions of harmful compounds and greenhouse gases, such as:

  • 261,560 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions annually – over 2.6 million pounds over the life cycle
  • 10,933,642 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions annually – over 109 million pounds over the life cycle
  • 156,859 pounds of particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions annually – over 1.5 million pounds over the life cycle
  • 102,611,815 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually – over 1.02 billion pounds over the life cycle
  • 2,360,232 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually – over 23.6 million pounds over the life cycle
  • Read full article here

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.

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

mattroushReporting Matt Roush

YPSILANTI — Barley, hops and yeast are powered by the sun.

Increasingly, so are the breweries that turn those ingredients into beer.

Southeast Michigan brewery owners Matt and Rene Greff are breaking new ground for Michigan breweries as solar installations at their two breweries come on line this summer.

Arbor Brewing Co. became Michigan’s first solar brewery when it flipped the switch on a new system comprised of a 2.4-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, 300 solar thermal collector tubes and a high-efficiency tankless water heater system to supplement the heat from the collector tubes when necessary.

These big ticket investments were combined with smaller improvements like switching to CFL and LED lighting and installing low-flow sprayers and occupancy sensors.

The project grew out of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s Energy Conservation Grant Program, which provided free energy audits and 50 percent project rebates up to $20,000 to downtown businesses that implemented audit recommendations to become more energy efficient.

ABC owner Matt Greff worked with Ann Arbor DDA Energy Programs Director David Konkle as well as a consulting team from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, led by Jarett Diamond.

Together they were able to identify a number of financial resources and incentives to help offset the installation cost of the system including the $20,000 grant from the DDA, a $10,000 interest-free loan from the city, a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government, and various incentives from DTE Energy.

The couple’s Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti is also nearing completion on its own $250,000 Green Brewery Project which includes solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies along with other improvements like new windows and awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment.

Making Solar Suitable for Historic Homes : Solar Power World

Making Solar Suitable for Historic Homes : Solar Power World.

A great article about solar racking and our company on the installation of a solar system on an 110 year old historic home in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Solar Links:

Making Solar Suitable


specsQuick Mount PV’s flashed mounts enabled a solar installation on America’s oldest net-zero home

As founder and host of Greenovation TV ( and consultant on net-zero energy, among other things, it’s no surprise Matthew Grocoff wanted to have his own net-zero home in Michigan. Such a home produces as much or more energy than it consumes. After lots of planning, Grocoff and his wife realized their dream, committing to energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort. Click link on headline to read full article.

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.

Full Story

Homeowners can Apply for Solar Energy Program through Consumers Energy « THE WMEAC BLOG

Homeowners can Apply for Solar Energy Program through Consumers Energy « THE WMEAC BLOG.

Consumers Energy is offering an opportunity to over 140 state residents, including some in Grand Rapids, to engage in a solar energy contract, as part of their Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). Eligible homeowners have until July 5 to apply to be a part of this pilot program, which is designed to highlight how renewable energy provides significant long-term savings for households. The program includes a fifteen-year contract that sets a fixed-price for electric customers to sell the output of their solar generating systems to Consumers Energy. Program candidate qualifications are the following:

  • Be a Consumers Energy customer account holder.
  • Have a satisfactory payment history on your account for the past 12 months.
  • Own or lease a solar photovoltaic system and have it installed on premises.
  • Be willing to have a separate meter installed.

EARP began in 2008 and now provides 3,250 kW of renewable energy with 1,635 kW of energy reserved for residential systems with the program’s expansion. The program expansion started in July 2011 after the Michigan Public Service Commission gave approval for Consumers Energy to expand its renewable energy options.

Other Consumers Energy renewable energy options include the Green Generation and SmartStreet technology programs. Green Generation lets customers pay a small premium on their monthly bill in order to use and support renewable energy sources. SmartStreet technology, on the other hand, collects energy usage data than can be analyzed so customers can better manage their energy usage practices.

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


Join us for Earth Day Open House

Join us Saturday April 14th 10am-2pm and tour our solar showroom.

In-house we have:

  • 5.3 kW 21 panel SunPower plus Enphase micro-inverters. Watch this system live and compare to other systems around the country.
  • Two styles of solar space heating.
  • Solar water heating
  • Natural daylight office with various sized Solatubes

We also have:

  • Solar attic fans
  • Solar pool heating systems

Sign up by April 7th to ride the bus tour of local homes we have installed systems on and talk to the homeowner. Seats are limited.

Bring your energy bills and we can help you find the best system for your needs. Open to all – FREE, parking available.


Home Energy Rating System – 723 Spring Street scores a 40!

Home Energy Rating System – 723 Spring Street scores a 40!.

This the home of one of our customers who provides great updates and information on his home and solar system! Nice job – Val

Impact of Solar Panels on Electric Bills – FANTASTIC … Thanks DTE – Solar Currents

Impact of Solar Panels on Electric Bills – FANTASTIC … Thanks DTE – Solar Currents.

This chart from the DTE Web Site shows my monthly electric bill for heating and cooling our house.  The right axis is Heating Degree Days which are a measure of how much (in degrees), and for how long (in days), the outside air temperature was below a certain level.  They are commonly used in calculations relating to the energy consumption required to heat buildings.  723 Spring Street has 4,200 square feet of conditioned space on four levels.  Since having put in the 8.6 kW solar panel system last fall, we have been near net-zero energy over the five month period.  The kWh surplus from the solar panels more than offsets the electrical consumption of the (to read full article click on title above).

Great to see the results of our systems by our customers. Thanks Scott for sharing! – Val

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