June 26, 2020 - This summer, Ann Arbor's Northside Community Center will install a 23.53kW solar system along with two Lithium-ion batteries, laying the foundation for the site to become the city's first resilience center. This project is part of the city's unanimously adopted A2ZERO Carbon Neutrality plan, which outlines a path for how the entire Ann Arbor community can achieve a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by the year 2030.
The Northside Community Center battery system is funded through a Sustaining Ann Arbor Together grant provided by the City of Ann Arbor. The solar power system is paid for by a Solar Moonshot Program grant, funded by Left Coast Fund and managed by Hammond Climate Solutions.
“Communities of concern are often the most impacted by the effects of the climate crisis and environmental racism, and we're thrilled to see Ann Arbor prioritizing this resilience center project and striving for climate justice," said Tara Hammond, founder and CEO of Hammond Climate Solutions. “We applaud the City of Ann Arbor for adopting a just transition to carbon neutrality by 2030, and we believe a commitment like this, where local projects are prioritized, is a model for other cities and states to adopt to help stop the climate crisis."
The Northside Community Center serves as the administrative building for Community Action Network as well as a local community center. Northside, through Catholic Social Services, offers food security support to Washtenaw County residents, including three weekly Emergency Food Distributions to those in need.
“We are delighted to partner with the City of Ann Arbor, Left Coast Fund, and Hammond Climate Solutions to bring this solar and energy storage system to Northside," said Derrick Miller, Executive Director of Community Action Network. “This system not only helps us reduce operating costs, but it directly aligns with our sustainability values and provides an invaluable opportunity to educate and engage our stakeholders on the importance of clean, renewable and local power sources."
The installation is sized to power nearly 100 percent of Northside's electrical needs and provide back-up power for up to three days. The installation will be performed by local solar installer, Homeland Solar, and should be completed by the end of August. The solar array will be a combination of ground mounted solar and rooftop solar.
“This solar and storage system will help the community advance its goals towards carbon neutrality while also investing in critical resilience infrastructure," said Dr. Missy Stults, Sustainability and Innovations Manager for the City of Ann Arbor. “By providing clean and reliable energy along with backup storage at Northside, we are ensuring that this facility can continue to serve the surrounding neighborhoods during a disruption."
This is the first solar and storage project being developed as a part of Ann Arbor's A2ZERO Carbon Neutrality Plan. From November 2019 until March 2020, the City of Ann Arbor, in collaboration with more than 65 partner organizations, hosted dozens of public events, conducted online public engagement, worked with four technical advisory committees, administered three public surveys, reviewed dozens of peer reviewed and technical documents and consulted with peers around the nation to develop the A2ZERO Carbon Neutrality Plan, which was unanimously adopted by City Council on June 1, 2020. To learn more about the City's carbon neutrality work, visit www.a2zero.org.