Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Charged up
. . . .

Charged up

Erin Crowell - May 31st, 2010
Charged Up: Supersized solar system powers new parking deck
By Erin Crowell
“The best market for solar is out over parking lots,” architect Robert
Noble said in a May 2010 Green Tech Media article. The founder of the
California-based company, Envision Solar, realized back in 2007 that
parking lot and carport roofs were ideal for collecting solar power.
The idea has been adopted on the roof of the new Old Town parking deck
in Traverse City. Currently under construction, the $7.9 million,
four-level structure will be home to one of the largest solar arrays
north of Muskegon.
“This is a huge array,” says Matthew Vajda, owner of Voltage Electric,
the Traverse City company which received the electrical bid on the
parking deck.
The 186-panel, 40.2 kilowatt array will provide close to 15% of the
structure’s total energy needs.
“Residential solar systems typically run around 5 kilowatts, which is
still a pretty large system,” Vajda says. “The 40.2 kilowatt array is
the largest north of Grand Rapids. They’re currently building a larger
system in Muskegon.”

LOCAL BIDS
The Old Town parking deck project is managed by CWS Architects, the TC
firm responsible for such projects as the much-anticipated Grand
Traverse YMCA building on Silver Lake Road and the Cathedral Barn at
the Grand Traverse Commons.
Having worked on other projects with Voltage Electric, CWS architect
Ray Kendra was comfortable with using the company as the solar
installer. “We are one of just a few local companies that won bids on
the parking deck,” says Vajda. “It’s very exciting.”
Vajda agrees that a parking deck is an optimal location for using solar.
“For one thing, you’ve got the real estate. You’ve got the roof – a
space that you wouldn’t use for anything else. Second, the electricity
is right where you need it, versus racks upon racks in the middle of a
field. Also, because it’s a LEED certified job (an economical and
environmental standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council), you
get more return on your investment doing solar, versus planting some
trees or shrubs,” he adds.
Although solar is pricey—this particular endeavor costing around
$240,000—the return is about 20 years, “a huge payback” according to
Vajda, who also serves as a board member on the Home Builders
Association.
Currently, Michigan is limited in its solar incentives, but Vajda
believes that will change soon.
“Green building is something I’m strongly in favor of and we really
just want to be ahead of the curve,” he adds.
Vajda anticipates solar array installation on the parking deck will be
completed sometime by the end of June, beginning of July.

Contact Voltage Electric at
231-946-3678 or visit them online at
www.voltageelectric.net.

 
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