Language Icon

“Politico Pro” Detroit Looks to Recharge Blighted Neighborhoods with Solar Panels

CLIMATEWIRE | Detroit’s mayor wants to make the Motor City into a solar city.

Under an ambitious — and uniquely Detroit-ish — plan announced last week, Mayor Mike Duggan said the city of 620,000 residents will seek to repurpose thousands of blighted home and business lots into solar energy generation sites with the capacity to power all of Detroit’s municipal buildings.

To make it happen, the city must piece together 250 acres of land into 10- to 50-acre parcels that could host thousands of photovoltaic solar panels and converter stations. In most cases, the sites would sit cheek-to-jowl with the homes, businesses and public buildings that create Detroit’s distinct urban patchwork.

Officials say the project meets President Joe Biden’s goal to spur clean energy development in the nation’s major cities, many of which suffer from climate impacts like extreme heat and flash flooding, as well as crumbling infrastructure, high unemployment and neighborhood disinvestment.

New solar farms sited inside the city could be an antidote to such ills, experts say, by converting neighborhoods into renewable energy hubs, giving new life to abandoned or underused lots.

Read the full article here