The 24th Annual Michigan Solar Home Tour goes virtual amidst pandemic

The 2020 Michigan Solar Home tour hosted by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association took place Saturday, October 3, over Zoom instead of the traditional walkthrough home tour. The annual event is in its 24th year.  

In previous years, people would showcase their home or businesses’ solar systems throughout Michigan. Due to the virtual nature of the event, guests were able to see every solar system. The tour, which went from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., allowed guests to understand how solar energy can reduce your monthly energy bill while promoting a clean environment. A typical “tour” used Zoom’s screen-sharing tool in which speakers showed pictures and statistics of their solar systems.

Twelve people showcased their solar system, including MSU Professor David Arnosti.

Building permit request approved by Planning Commission

By Katie McCoy
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – Pablo Majano, planning and zoning community development analyst, requested approval to have the ability to apply for a building permit for Michigan State University Federal Credit Union’s headquarters and other zoning districts to build solar panels on carports at the Planning Commission meeting last Wednesday.  

There are no permits in play but this approval would allow business districts and community retail districts to request building permits for solar panel construction, according to Majano. At the planning commission meeting, Majano said this ordinance is based off another ordinance that allows for solar energy systems to be built carports with appropriate permits

Majano said Ordinance 1357 has been an existing regulation on alternative energy generation systems since 2011. “There are no current proposals for a carport energy system,” said Majano.  “Staff of the planning and zoning committee anticipates a future use of carport energy systems in the two different districts.”

Located on a zoning map of East Lansing, the districts requesting the building permits are located in the northern tier of East Lansing.