Detroit's solar project presented to city council for approval

On Monday, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that three neighborhoods were selected to help create nearly 104 acres of solar arrays – a project which will work to create clean energy to offset the electricity used by city municipal buildings.

One day later, city leaders appeared before the Detroit City Council to get the project approved.

"We have had several public comments, individuals come down – expressing their support and/or not support for the projects," said Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield. "So we wanted to get an overview on where things were."

Chief Strategy Officer for the City of Detroit Trisha Stein was up first.

"There are four items on your agenda today – two contracts and two resolutions that will be referred to various committees," she said.

As city officials work to get funding approved for the solar project, they stressed the benefits of solar arrays.

"One – redevelop land; mostly vacant, prone to blight," Stein said. "The second is to realize the city’s climate change goals and really fulfill the promise that city council made in 2019 when it approved the greenhouse gas ordinance."

City leaders also make clear that the residents living in the neighborhoods involved in the project are eager about it.

"The mayor has been adamant about ‘we’re only going to go where the residents want,’" said Ray Solomon with Detroit's Deptartment of Neighborhoods.

Residents who opted to sell their homes through a voluntary buy-out by the city, so their land can be used for the solar arrays, will benefit.

"They will be receiving double market value or a minimum of $90K for their home," said the city's director of the Office of Sustainability, Tepfirah Rushdan.

And residents who live near the neighborhoods with solar arrays will also benefit.

"They will be receiving $15-$25K in energy efficiency upgrades," Rushdan said.

City leaders want members of council to know the project is a win-win for all involved.

"What's most important – the residents during our meetings– they designed the footprint for the solar arrays and they also designed the footprint for the community benefits that will be received as a result to the program," Solomon said.


Solar arrays come to 3 Detroit neighborhoods fighting blight and climate change

"The adjoining neighbors get $15,000 to $25,000 a house to upgrade their homes with new furnaces, new roofs, new windows," Duggan said.