Ypsilanti Citizen Community Ypsilanti Cycle

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Solar Ypsi moves forward

A few snags Monday delayed the installation of 12 solar panels on the south wall of Ypsilanti City Hall. Volunteers hope to continue work next week. Photo by Christine Laughren

A few snags Monday delayed the installation of 12 solar panels on the south wall of Ypsilanti City Hall. Volunteers hope to continue work next week.
Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Food co-op included in state-wide tour Saturday

By Christine Laughren
Oct. 6, 2009    ·    1:34 p.m.

If the solar panels were installed on the building Monday, Ypsilanti’s City Hall might have squeezed into a spot on Saturday’s Michigan Sustainable Homes & Businesses Tour.

Needless to say, there were a few snags for volunteers during Monday’s attempt at installing 12 panels on the south wall of the building.

Ypsilanti resident and local solar guru Dave Strenski said he would hopefully get his volunteer crew back next week to finish the job. He said the rack built to hold the panels was not stiff enough to lift as one piece and the group of five volunteers had to dismantle some of the structure to lift it in sections.

“We also learned that working 40+ feet in the air makes it harder to get things level and plumb,” Strenski said Monday evening. “We also were slowed down with a couple of anchors that we needed to reset.”

It’s been a little over a year since Strenski and Corinne Sikorski, general manager of the Ypsilanti Food Co-op, were awarded a $36,000 grant from the Sate of Michigan to install 12 panels of the south wall of city hall and an additional seven on the roof of the co-op. Similar to the co-op’s system, city hall’s panels will be connected to the electric grid and be equipped with net-metering capabilities to track real-time energy consumption and savings.

The co-op will be a part of Saturday’s tour - a free, state-wide event presented by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. the co-op will show off its 12 panels and energy monitoring system. MSHBT Coordinator Samantha Keeney said the tours are unique in that participants have the opportunity to talk to presenters and interact with guides.

“It’s more about direct benefits for the actual person, when it comes down to the end of the day,” she said.

This is the fourth year the co-op has participated in the tour since it installed four solar panels on its roof in 2005. Strenski, who helped install the panels and create the new monitoring program, said the tour will be even more of an educational experience this year.

When describing how the monitoring system is beneficial, Strenski said he likes to tell a story about the first week it was up and running. He said every night he watched energy consumption drop at the store, except one night. A call made the next day to Sikorski revealed the employee that opened the store said the lights were left on.

“Needless to say, Corinne talked to the employee that closed the night before,” Strenski said. “The message is, real time monitoring of your power production and consumption helps you save energy.

“It helps change energy-wasting behavior,” he said.

With the food co-op’s panels up and the city hall project nearly complete, Strenski will turn to the co-op’s River Street Bakery next to install 30 panels on its roof. The bakery hopes to make 100 percent renewable energy bread by next summer.

Although the co-op is the only Ypsilanti location on the Michigan Sustainable Homes & Businesses Tour this Saturday, it’s not hard to imagine there will be more stops in the city in years to come.

Tour locations are split into seven different regions: Ann Arbor, Central Michigan, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Northwest Michigan and Southwest Michigan.

On the Web:
Visit http://solar.ypsi.com/ to learn more about renewable energy projects in Ypsilanti. Click on Ypsi Food Co-op on the right portion of the screen (under site details) to view the real-time monitoring graph.

For more information on the Michigan Sustainable Homes & Businesses Tour click here

Michigan Sustainable Homes & Businesses Tour locations near you:

Ypsilanti Food Co-op
312 North River Street, Ypsilanti
The Ypsilanti Food Co-Op building features a 950 watt photovoltaic installation, equipped with watt meters to monitor the energy consumption and generation. The system is also connected with DTE Energy with net-metering. We will have tour guides available from 10:00am to 4:00pm to explain how the system works.

Ann Arbor Farmers Market
315 Detroit St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The sunshine that grows our food is now powering the Ann Arbor Farmers Market! Paid for by a grant from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, this 10-kilowatt solar electric system uses Uni-Solar panels to produce about a third of the Market's annual electricity use.

En-house Resource Center, Recycle Ann Arbor
2420 South Industrial Hwy, Ann Arbor
The Environmental House Energy & Green Building Resource Center (EnHouse) is a comprehensive resource and touring facility dedicated to furthering the causes of green building, energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Environmental House will be offering tours of the photovoltaic array and control equipment from 10 am to 4pm.

Lauzzana Home
2725 West Ellsworth, Ann Arbor
This house constructed in 1954, a black panel solar thermal array provides 30% of the heat and protects the house in the summer, almost eliminating the need for air-conditioning. The panels trap the sun's heat, while a thermostatic electric fan pulls air through the array and into the house.

Mechanical Energy Systems
8130 N. Canton Center Rd., Canton
Visit the Demonstration Center and see a variety of working solar applications that can be retrofitted to existing homes and businesses. See how to light an office with Solatubes, heat water with a Solar Boiler and power computers and phones with Wind and Photovoltaic systems.

Michcon Nature House at the Leslie Science and Nature Center
1831 Travers Blvd. Ann Arbor MI
The Nature House at the Leslie Science and Nature Center is a wonderful example of green technology. The building features two types of solar arrays and thermal panels for domestic hot water. The building also has composting toilets, a gray water planting bed, and lots of recycled or recyclable surfaces.

The Nautilus House
341 Evergreen Place Ann Arbor MI
Meadowlark Builders and Architectural Resource follow up last year’s entry with Michigan’s second LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum remodel. Designed for and with the homeowner, a found-object artist, this home was transformed from a 50’s split-level into a state-of-the-art modern home that is future-ready with geothermal energy and full solar photovoltaics.

Wolter Home
10576 Fleming Road, Dexter
A naturally bright, open, owner designed and built, home featuring both passive and active solar heating. Located west of Dexter, this home utilizes concrete reinforced foam exterior walls for insulation, hot water radiant floor heating, active ventilation, 240 square feet of solar hot water panels, and many other energy efficient features.

The Rocket

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