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Solar power is one of the most popular forms renewable energy. Not only does it help reduce our carbon footprint, but it also cuts the cost of electric bills.

Engineer and local solar enthusiast Dave Strenski of Solar Ypsi offered a presentation about the power and potential of solar energy at a recent Teen STEAM café. Strenski has been featured in national media for his work inviting more people to invest in solar power here in Michigan, and especially in Ypsilanti. In the city alone, Solar Ypsi monitors 42 sites that produce 1.16 MW of clean, renewable energy–enough to power 111 homes. They also provide training for people from marginalized communities to link them to lucrative careers in renewable energy.

Teen STEAM Cafe’ presenting Ypsi Solar’s Dave Strenski.

Posted by Ypsilanti District Library on Friday, March 22, 2019

Solar Ypsi ’s Dave Strenski

Electricity generated at YDL-Michigan by month, 2015-2019

In the spring of 2015, YDL-Michigan had 18 solar panels installed to their historical building with the help of Solar Ypsi. and learn more about the installation process and see photos of the panels being installed. These panels were provided as a gift from an anonymous donor who paid to have panels installed on the roofs of six local nonprofit organizations.

If you’ve ever wondered how much electricity those panels actually produce, you can actually see how much electricity that system produces in real time. The minute-by-minute monitoring is so sensitive, you can see when a cloud passes over our solar array! Part of Solar Ypsi’s mission is to provide education and build awareness of the potential for solar power. Many people don’t think of Michigan as a Solar destination, but Solar Ypsi shows the difference renewable energy can make, even in northern climates.

About Teen STEAM Cafe

Our Teen STEAM Café series is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The cafés bring professional scientists and engineers together with young people for informal conversations where teens can learn about science, explore careers, and build connections with local professionals.