Solar Ypsi!

In 2009, a group of Solar Ypsi volunteers installed 12 solar photovoltaic panels at the back of the Ypsilanti City Hall to make Ypsilanti the first city hall in Michigan with solar power!  Since then, many other City facilities have added solar power, including the Department of Public Services, the Freighthouse, the Senior Center, the Fire Department, and the Rutherford Pool (under construction). 

The City Hall system provides about 2.5KW of renewable energy, and is the second solar installation within the Ypsilanti Historic District. For more information about renewable energy installation in the Historic District, please read their factsheet.

In 2017, the City of Ypsilanti became the first city in Michigan to be a certified Sol Smart Community. Learn more about what makes Ypsilanti Sol Smart here:

For more information on how to install solar panels on your property, please review the checklist here:  For information about solar terms and their meanings, please visit

Beginning in Summer of 2020, City homeowners have the opportunity to partner with their neighbors on facilitated bulk buys of solar via the Solarize program. For more information, contact coordinator Julie Roth.


Solar Panels

How It Works

At City Hall, sunlight penetrates the photovoltaic panels, which convert a portion of that light into electrical current. The panels, mounted at a fixed 38 degree angle, maximize annual solar collection. This electrical current is a direct current (DC) which is carried through a wire to a disconnect switch that can turn the system off for maintenance. The DC power is then routed to the Sunny Boy inverter, which converts DC electricity into standard 110-volt, 60-cycle alternating current (AC) that we find in an ordinary wall outlet. The power is then ready for use and routed to the City Hall’s electrical service panel for distribution to individual circuits.

LIVE graphs showing the power coming into City Hall (red), exported out (green), and generated from the sun (yellow) can be seen at

The website also shows installation photos and details about the project.

The City and our facility partners also host solar panels at the Fire Department, the Department of Public Services, Senior Center, Rutherford Pool, and the Parkridge Community Center