New commercial solar program helps Washtenaw County businesses access clean energy


A look down on solar power at work. image coutresy of Ann Arbor 2030 District

Attention businesses and commercial property owners in Washtenaw County, what is your solar potential?

If you don’t know the answer and want to, or if you do but want to learn more, then look no further than the new commercial solar program helping Ann Arbor Area and Washtenaw County businesses access clean energy.

A webinar is being hosted this month about the new program.

On Feb. 6, the Ann Arbor 2030 District announced a unique collaboration with the City of Ann Arbor’s Office of Sustainability and Innovations (OSI) to launch a program designed to help commercial properties in Ann Arbor and throughout Washtenaw County access the benefits of clean, renewable energy. They are getting the word out now to see who would like to join them for an introductory meeting for those interested in participating or learning more.

The program is described as providing “one-on-one assistance to screen properties for solar potential, help with designing and releasing Request for Proposals to qualified installers, support in reviewing proposal responses and financial benefits, and help reviewing post-installation energy bills.”

"Business and property owners need to know that financial investments made in their properties will result in real cost savings both in the short-term operations of the buildings, as well as significant long-term savings, especially as the cost of electricity continues to climb,” Julie Roth, Senior Energy Analyst at OSI, said in the announcement. “This program takes the uncertainty out of the process for businesses, helping them obtain bids, evaluate those bids, and work with vetted contractors.”

The announcement gives some local perspective on this from Scio Township.

“With the inflation reduction act restoring the 30 percent tax credit and providing for direct pay for non-profits and municipalities, this program will provide the support needed for commercial buildings to invest in on-site renewable energy,” said Jan Culbertson, FAIA, Leadership Chair, Ann Arbor 2030 District.

The Scio Township fire station on Zeeb Road will soon be home to solar power.

“Scio Fire was one of the pilots for this program’s Request for Proposal Template. The support of the A2 2030 District gave our administration and Board of Trustees the confidence in our specifications, contractor qualifications and selection,” said Scio Township Fire Chief Andrew Houde. “We are looking forward to our upcoming installation.”

The A2 Area Commercial Solar Program is open to businesses and property owners in Washtenaw County. There will be an informational webinar on February 28th from noon to 1 p.m., where the program details will be explained, and questions answered. Interested individuals can sign up for this webinar at: Commercial Solar Meeting

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