Clean Energy Coalition, City of Ann Arbor, launches Xseed Energy to install community solar

Clean Energy Coalition (CEC), a partner organization in the City of Ann Arbor’s Solar America Cities program, is launching Xseed Energy to install the area’s first community supported solar energy project.

According to Lisa Dugdale, XSeed Energy Project Manager, community donations, financial incentives and sponsorships will fund the publicly accessible solar panel array that will be installed in the Ann Arbor area in mid-2010.  Proceeds from financial incentives and donations will be recycled back into a ‘Solar Bank’ to fund ongoing solar installations.

This project grew out of research conducted as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar America Cities project.  Two of the goals in the original Solar America Cities grant to the City of Ann Arbor were to implement a community-based solar marketing campaign, and identify sites for high visibility commercial installations.  The CEC, a Solar America Cities partner with the City of Ann Arbor, is taking this to the next logical place for the community solar installation.

“After we learned that we couldn’t use SAC funding for incentives, we decided to use the funding to create a business plan and marketing materials for this project because of the high level of interest in it,” said Dugdale. “The Clean Energy Coalition is writing the Solar Plan for the Solar America Cities project, and as part of that process, we discovered that this project could help mitigate some of the barriers to solar in Ann Arbor.”

The program, launched last week, is just beginning to raise money, but the local buzz about the project has been robust.  Depending on funding and partnerships, Dugdale anticipates the initial PV installation to be around 4kw.  Location will be announced in February, with a June 2010 installation date planned.

“We anticipate that the initial installation will go out to bid, and will require NABCEP-certified installers,” said Dugdale.   “The project will be very visible–probably ground mounted.  We expect to publish the RFP early in 2010.  After the initial installation we will target public and non-profit buildings for future installations.”

To learn more about the XSeed Energy project, contact Lisa Dugdale at 888-818-0987 .


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