Ann Arbor, Michigan: Solar in Action (Brochure) Page: 4 of 8
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The Fuller Pool Sun Dragon helps to draw attention to one of
Ann Arbor's solar pool heating systems.
Photo from The City of Ann Arbor, NREL/PIX 78350
" Installed a new 10-kW PV system at the Farmers' Market
and assessed feasibility at other city facilities, which led
to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for
additional systems, including PV and solar water heating.
" Developed a solar map at relatively
" Leveraged city solar installations into
training opportunities for local installers A
" Succeeded in getting approval for a 0f @1
commercial and a residential solar
project to go forward on historic a n
buildings and spurred the creation of _
a solar subcommittee of the Historic
District Committee a d
" Installed multiple systems in locations
visible to the public with associated for
Advocating for State-level
Policy and Legislation
The City of Ann Arbor has been a leader in advocating for
various changes in state-level policy and legislative changes,
most recently for enacting legislation to enable cities to
develop Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing
As part of its aggressive policy agenda, the city identified a
need for additional incentives and financing mechanisms to
allow its residents to install solar technologies. Many of the
most attractive means required changes to state policy or law,
including the need for legislation that would allow PACE.
With Michigan a bit behind other states in implementing
PACE, the city connected with staff at the Great Lakes
Environmental Law Center (GLELC), which worked with the
city and its partners to craft PACE-enabling legislation for
Michigan. The advantage of not being the first state to
implement PACE was that GLELC was able to take best
practices from other states' legislation to craft a strong,
flexible framework for Michigan.
City staff then worked with state-elected officials to get the
legislation out of committee and passed by the Michigan
House of Representatives before it stalled out in the Senate
due to opposition from bankers.
In the process, city staff learned several important lessons in
relation to advocating for state-level policy change.
Several challenges were encountered:
- The pace of political decision-making
- The time associated with advocating
for policy, for example, preparing to
-ism testify at committee hearings in person,
especially if representing one of only a
few entities that are actively preparing to
make use of the proposed policy
- The wide variation in support and
ng opposition to new policies from one state
to the next. The absence of opposition
from a group in one state does not
e . guarantee the absence of opposition in
- The importance of maintaining vision
for a program despite federal-level issues.
A balance of optimism and realism is needed in advocating
for policy change. While PACE currently faces regulatory
uncertainty at the federal level, the city remains hopeful that a
path forward will be identified that will renew efforts in the
Developing Visible, Monitored
Ann Arbor has undertaken a handful of carefully calculated
demonstration projects to raise public awareness of solar
technologies and educate the public on the technology, value,
and benefits of solar energy. An important element in raising
Here’s what’s next.
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Ann Arbor, Michigan: Solar in Action (Brochure), report, October 1, 2011; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc830860/m1/4/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.