RIVER ROUGE — In the small industrial community of River Rouge, the city’s administration and departments, including police and fire, all operate out of the City Hall building, located at 10600 West Jefferson Avenue.  Unlike other municipalities, River Rouge’s City Hall is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“The electric meter is always running,” said River Rouge Mayor Michael Bowdler, who looks forward to the energy savings that the City will receive with the installation of solar panels on the roof of City Hall later this month.  “This opportunity wouldn’t be possible without a $42,000 grant from the Michigan Suburb Alliance and additional financing from SRI Energy which won the bid to design and install the system.”

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Novi-based SRI Energy will install 60 American-made solar panels, for the 13.5 kW system.  Over 25 years it is projected that SRI Energy’s Solar Photovoltaic system design for River Rouge will generate 400.325 megawatt-hours of energy. This is equivalent to planting 25 acres of forest, avoiding the production of 287.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or powering 13,614 homes for 24 hours.

In addition to the solar panel installation, SRI Energy will provide a wall-mount kiosk in the building’s lobby that will  give City employees, residents and visitors an opportunity to view the amount of energy that the solar system generates on a real time basis and also the environmental contribution of the system to the community.

“Along with energy cost savings, this system will help us to reduce our carbon footprint and create a healthier environment for our workers and residents,”  Bowdler said.  “The monitoring system for public viewing will also serve as an excellent educational tool.”

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The mayor also credits his city commissioners for the project’s approval, and the Michigan Public Service Commission for investing more than $30 million to help communities with these energy programs.

“Without grants or incentives, and financing from companies like SRI Energy, municipalities like ours wouldn’t be able afford this type of energy saving project,” he said.

SRI has sales, design, and engineering capabilities available for commercial and residential solar panel installations throughout Michigan.  The company focuses on offering green energy solutions to individuals and organizations that are socially responsible.

SRI Energy finances many of its own projects, including the ability to finance projects through GE Money with zero down payment required. In addition to servicing a wide variety of clients including non-profit organizations, the company works with local trade associations, building and development authorities, and neighborhood associations.

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For more information, visit www.srienergy.org or call (248) 254-6477.