A new plan Mayor Mike Duggan is pitching would fill vacant land in the city, provide clean energy for the city, and give money back to community groups. After some consultation with solar companies, the plans should start to take shape this fall.

The plan would eventually convert all of Detroit's municipal buildings to solar power. It also includes money for energy upgrades for neighborhood homes.

“President Biden has challenged cities across the country to convert to clean energy. Some cities, like Cincinnati and Chicago, are doing this by building huge solar fields,” Duggan said. “It’s time for Detroit to take this step.”  

Each site would need 10-50 acres of land. In comparison, O'Shea Solar Park on Detroit's west side is 10 acres. In total, the city is looking for 250 acres across the city. Community block clubs, neighborhood groups, or groups of at least five can apply. For each acre a neighborhood would submit, the community group would receive $25,000. These funds could go toward neighborhood parks, home improvements, and energy improvements in the neighborhood.

Starting July 1, neighborhood groups will be able to submit a community interest form. If they need assistance with the proposal, they can request help from a solar energy expert. 

Groups can learn more about housing solar energy in their neighborhoods and fill out the community interest form here. The form will be open until October 2.

“We will only go into neighborhoods where residents want us there,” said Ray Solomon, Director of Detroit’s Department of Neighborhoods. “If we decide a neighborhood’s proposal is a good fit, we will have conversations with the residents to determine what they want and need to help create more energy efficient and climate resilient homes, or to improve their shared spaces.”