It’s an exciting time to be doing solar development in Michigan. Though the state has a long history of using coal-fired electricity plants, solar is slowly catching on there—and we’re thrilled to be part of the movement that’s pushing it toward solar leadership in the upper Midwest.

Case in point: As students in the Flushing (Michigan) Community School District return to school, they’ll have a new tool powering their learning. At each of their seven schools, there will be either a roof-mounted or ground-mounted solar array, thanks to a first-of-its-kind public/private partnership between Standard Solar and the district.

The complexity of the projects provided particular challenges, like managing seven different sites at once and balancing the needs of array construction with the various schedules of the schools. We’re lucky, however: We’ve done projects like this before and knew how important it was to stay in close touch with school administrators to make the project run smoothly. As a result of intense preparation, the project was completed in July—and we held a ribbon cutting ceremony in August.

We installed rooftop arrays on Springview Elementary, Central Elementary, Seymour Elementary, Early Child Center and Flushing Middle School, and ground-mounted arrays at Elms Elementary and Flushing High School.

All are now producing energy—so much energy in fact that the arrays are expected to offset 84% of the district’s entire current electric loads and eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions from 174 passenger vehicles driven for one year and the CO2 emissions from nearly 100 homes’ yearly energy use.

We’re always happy to help school districts achieve their electricity-generation goals, but what made the Flushing project particularly exciting was the commitment of the school district to install solar as a way of reducing its own carbon footprint, thereby combating climate change in their own small way. They are also committed to using the array as a teaching tool for its students in particular and the community in general.

“We have always made energy conservation and global citizenship a priority,” said Flushing Community Schools District Superintendent Tim Stein. “When we began to explore the possibilities of further improving the efficiencies of our buildings and modeling for our students the importance of renewable energy, this project came to life. We are truly excited to be considered a leader in the use of renewable energy.”

We’re proud to announce that this project is a finalist for a Solar Builder “Project of the Year” Award.

Voting for the award is now in your hands, so go ahead and VOTE for the Flushing Community Schools project now!