Ypsilanti's Solar-Powered Fire Station to Save City $6K Per Year

The relatively low cost solar-powered fire station project is expected to save the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan, more than $6,000 in energy costs annually.

The solar-powered fire station at 525 W. Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti, Michigan, is expected to save the city more than $6,400 annually with an ROI of five years.

This is a tremendous project and a great savings to taxpayers. Nowhere else do we get that kind of rate of return on investment," said Council Member Dan Vogt in 2016, according to MLive.com.

The 50kW, 176-panel solar array that converted the firehouse to solar power was installed last year at a cost under $60,000, funded in part by the city's energy efficiency and conservation fund.

The solar-powered fire station project was spearheaded by SolarYpsi, which designed the solar array, solicited donations, coordinated volunteers for the installation and partnered with Chart House Energy to monetize the 30 percent Federal Renewable Energy Tax credit.

According to Dave Strenski, "Learning how to monetize tax credits was a huge win for this project and can be replicated for other solar projects," he said in his Q&A with Smart Cities Connect after the organization named the project one of the Smart 50 Award Recipients earlier this year.

The solar-powered fire station is not the organization's only project adding solar power to the city's portfolio. Recently, the organization installed solar on the Ypsilanti Department of Public Services carport, according to SolarYpsi's Facebook page:

Watch a video about the solar-powered fire station:

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