The City of Detroit has taken a significant step towards becoming more sustainable by working with MEO and Elevate Energy to determine the potential for solar development within the city. The two-year process was funded by an $8.9 million Community Development Block Grant for disaster relief, with support from the City of Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department, as well as the Detroit Office of Sustainability.
As part of the project, MEO and Elevate Energy led a multidisciplinary team in developing a comprehensive tool kit that includes an introduction to solar for Detroiters, an interactive solar capacity map of the city, workforce and training opportunities, and policy and design guidelines for solar energy generation. The tool kit was designed with the unique challenges and opportunities of Detroit in mind.
One of the key deliverables of the project was an online solar suitability map of the city. This interactive GIS solar mapping tool was developed in collaboration with Data Driven Detroit and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, providing Detroiters with an easy way to explore the solar potential of their neighborhoods.
In addition to the solar mapping tool, MEO and Elevate Energy also created the Detroit Solar Equity, Financing, and Operating Tool Kits. These tool kits integrate best practices, metrics, and stakeholder engagement recommendations into a comprehensive guide that includes a Solar 101 Guide, Solar Design Guide, and Workforce Development and Training opportunities. The Detroit Collaborative Design Center and EcoWorks collaborated on this part of the project.
MEO also contributed to the project by developing Solar Financial Modeling Best Practices and Recommendations. This model includes outcomes, best practices, and recommendations for funding, financing, risk assessment, projections, and specific solar investment opportunities.
Finally, the solar regulatory and policy analysis was led by the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. This part of the project aggregated solar legal, regulatory, and policy information to support City departments in understanding current energy law and how to adjust local land use and zoning to maximize solar adoption.
This project is a significant step forward for the City of Detroit in its efforts to become more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint. With the support of MEO and Elevate Energy, Detroiters can now access comprehensive solar information and resources to help them make informed decisions about solar energy in their community.
For more information visit https://detroitmi.gov/.