Groundwork Center Announces Third Cohort Of Group-Buy Solar Program – Traverse City Ticker

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Springtime is solar season for Traverse City’s Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities.

The nonprofit announced this week that it is currently seeking sign-ups for its third cohort of the Access MI Solar initiative, a “group-buy discount program for purchasing solar panels for homes and small businesses in northwest Lower Michigan.” The program utilizes a bulk-buy partnership with the Copemish-based CBS Solar to save local customers money on new solar installations.

The Ticker reported on the growth of Access MI Solar last spring. Groundwork had initially launched the program as a pilot initiative the previous year, focusing on the Petoskey area and calling it “Grow Solar Little Traverse.” Spring 2023 marked an expansion of the program to make it available to any household or small-scale commercial business within a 30-mile radius of Traverse City. Thanks in part to The Ticker’s coverage, Groundwork tallied around 40 program participants last year, two-thirds of which were in the Traverse City area.

The program is expanding even further for 2024: Groundwork has announced that the area of eligibility for Access MI Solar now includes homes and small businesses “within 40 miles of either Petoskey or Traverse City.” This year, CBS Solar will grant a discount of 1 percent per customer who signs up for Access MI Solar, “up to a maximum discount of 10% total on the hard costs of the solar installation,” which include equipment and infrastructure. That discount, Groundwork notes, “is on top of the 30 percent renewable energy tax break available in the federal tax break system.”

Those interested in participating in Access MI Solar can sign up for a free quote via this Google form. Anyone who signs up for a bid by May 31 will lock in the Access MI Solar discount rate. Groundwork will also share more about the program at a free webinar scheduled for April 19.

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