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Solar Neighborhoods in Detroit Choose Lightstar to Illuminate the Future with Innovative Neighborhood Agrivoltaic Solar

Solar Neighborhoods In Detroit Choose Lightstar To Illuminate The Future With Innovative Neighborhood Agrivoltaic Solar

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Through the Detroit Climate Strategy, the City of Detroit and the Mayor’s office have made progress toward sustainability. The plan, which was shaped by feedback from thousands of residents, stipulates that the city must switch to clean, renewable energy by 2034. “The Neighborhood Solar initiative is the first step toward achieving these goals to address climate change in our city by providing clean energy, combat illegal dumping, and engaging communities and nonprofits to stabilize neighborhoods.”

With Lightstar’s ambitious solar energy project, which is expected to shed fresh light on the integration of renewable energy sources and urban agriculture, a significant portion of the plan is currently being implemented.


In a nation-leading effort Lightstar was selected to transform self-selected Detroit neighborhoods to power the City and fuel community revitalization

Detroit, Michigan — Lightstar, in collaboration with the City of Detroit, is proud to announce the launch of an ambitious solar energy project that promises to shine groundbreaking light on combining urban agriculture and renewable energy. This groundbreaking initiative, aptly named “Locally-Sited Utility-Scale Solar,” marks the beginning of a multi-phase endeavor aimed at intertwining the growth of solar energy infrastructure with sustainable agricultural development in partnership with Detroit’s vibrant communities.

Lightstar would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to Mayor Mike Duggan, the City of Detroit, and the vibrant communities of State Fair and Gratiot-Findlay. Your unwavering support and enthusiasm are pivotal as we advance Phase I of our groundbreaking agrivoltaic solar installation project. Lightstar is honored to continue your work to date, promoting environmental justice and ensuring that the benefits of our projects are accessible to all. We are committed to transparent communication and ongoing collaboration and engagement with community members throughout every phase of the project. Your voice is essential as we forge ahead in creating a sustainable and thriving Detroit.

Phase I of the project is set to bring solar installations to two community-centered sites — State Fair and Gratiot-Findlay — boasting a combined potential of approximately 10MW of generation capacity. With successive phases looking to expand this innovative fusion of technology and agriculture further, Lightstar and City leaders are laying the groundwork for a future where Detroit leads the charge in urban sustainability.

At its core, this venture seeks to empower the local community by marrying solar power generation with agriculture — also known as agrivoltaics. Potential crops such as lettuce, kale, carrots, and a variety of berries are anticipated to thrive alongside solar panels, illustrating a harmonious balance between energy production and urban farming. Lightstar is actively seeking urban farming partners that can provide fresh, local, and sustainably farmed produce and livestock products to the people of Detroit. These collaborations are intended to fortify Detroit’s food distribution systems, ensuring that the fruits of this project nourish the city’s residents for decades to come.

Lightstar is dedicated to ensuring the project’s positive ripple effects are felt throughout the community. Through the administration of Community Benefits packages, Lightstar will provide energy efficiency upgrades to qualifying homeowners in the neighborhoods directly touched by the project, enhancing their quality of life and cementing a legacy of community-focused progress. These upgrades, coupled with frequent community check-ins to incorporate feedback into the project design, will deliver a project that neighborhoods want to see.

In a significant move towards inclusivity and cultural awareness, Lightstar has partnered with JIMA Studio to roll out a comprehensive community engagement strategy. With its trailblazing work in landscape architecture and urban planning, JIMA Studio offers a unique approach that centers on the needs and aspirations of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in Detroit. JIMA Studio’s mission, “Empowering partners to transform communities in forward-thinking ways,” perfectly aligns with Lightstar’s goals and work philosophy. By leveraging JIMA Studio’s expertise and Lightstar’s resources, the partnership aims to foster resilient communities that honor cultural heritage while promoting sustainable development. The initiatives will not only improve the quality of life for residents but also provide opportunities for local businesses and artists to flourish.

“We are excited to partner with the City of Detroit on this project. The ‘Locally-Sited Utility-Scale Solar’ initiative represents not just a significant leap towards sustainable urban development, but a reimagining of how cities can integrate green technologies with community health and prosperity,” said Tom Brown, COO at Lightstar. “By leveraging the power of solar energy in concert with urban agriculture, we aim to illuminate a promising path forward for Detroit’s communities, supporting the city’s ambitious goals for a renewable future as outlined in the Detroit Climate Strategy. This is about more than just energy; it’s about community empowerment, economic development, and taking concrete steps towards addressing climate change. Together, with the people of Detroit, we are planting the seeds of growth for a brighter, greener tomorrow.”

“This project is not just about generating renewable energy; it’s about cultivating hope, fostering resilience, and sowing the seeds of a sustainable future for all Detroit residents,” said Brianna Fiorillo, Policy & Strategy Manager, Midwest at Lightstar who played a pivotal role in the successful submission of the project RFP with the City. “Through a partnership with American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Michigan State University Agricultural Extension, Lightstar intends to use the data gathered from this project to inform and inspire similar initiatives nationwide, blazing a trail for the integration of agrivoltaics across the country.”

For more information about the “Locally-Sited Utility-Scale Solar” project and upcoming community engagement opportunities, please visit the official city project website at https://detroitmi.gov/government/mayors-office/office-sustainability/solar-neighborhoods.

Press release Lightstar.


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