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Ann Arbor celebrates launch of city’s first solar-powered ‘resilience hub’

MLive Ann Arbor logo MLive Ann Arbor 9/18/2020 By Ryan Stanton, mlive.com
a group of people standing on top of a grass covered field: Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

ANN ARBOR, MI — A new solar array stands outside the Northside Community Center, which has been designated Ann Arbor’s first official “resilience hub.”

City officials and others gathered at the center off Pontiac Trail in Northside Park on Friday afternoon, Sept. 18, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

a group of people that are standing in the grass: Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

The city had local contractor Homeland Solar install the roughly 23-kilowatt solar energy system, with a large, ground-mounted array in the grassy field next to the building, plus additional panels atop the center’s roof.

a group of people that are standing in the grass: Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

The system also features two lithium-ion storage batteries and an informational kiosk.

Mayor Christopher Taylor and Derrick Miller, the Community Action Network’s executive director, discussed the importance of the project before cutting the ribbon.

Under CAN’s leadership, the center provides essential services for youth and families in the community, Taylor said.

It serves as an administrative building for CAN, as well as a community center. Through Catholic Social Services, it offers food security support to Washtenaw County residents, including three weekly emergency food distributions to those in need.

a house with trees in the background: Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

The new solar system will provide nearly 100% of the electrical needs for the center and the batteries will provide up to three days of power in case of an outage, Taylor said.

The project is part of the city’s A2Zero carbon-neutrality plan to fight climate change, Taylor said.

In addition to transitioning the entire community to 100% renewable energy by 2030, the plan calls for creating a network of resilience hubs throughout the city to empower residents to care for one another during a disaster for up to five days before government assistance may be needed.

the roof of a building: Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

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The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for the types of services offered by the center, Miller said.

“Literally overnight, our food programs have actually doubled in terms of participation from community residents,” he said.

a house with a grass field: Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

The solar system will help the center be more resilient in a potential future crisis, keep the lights on and power equipment to provide community services, Miller said, expressing appreciation for the project partners who made it happen.

a large green field: Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

The solar system was paid for by a $50,000 Solar Moonshot Program grant, funded by the Left Coast Fund and managed by Hammond Climate Solutions, while the battery system was funded through a $20,000 city grant.

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Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

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a group of people standing next to a fence: Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\" © Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com/Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News/mlive.com/TNS Ann Arbor officials, Homeland Solar and the Community Action Network celebrate the installation of a new solar power system at the Northside Community Center off Pontiac Trail on Sept. 18, 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the city's first \"resilience hub.\"

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