Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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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