Six Michigan mayors join national coalition to call for a solar energy future

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Nathan Murphy

Group of 300 elected officials from every state sign on to “Mayors for Solar Energy” letter

Environment Michigan

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

For More Information: 

Nathan Murphy, State Director, [email protected], 517-303-8692

Ben Sonnega, Go Solar Campaign Associate,  [email protected], 617-747-4300

Six Michigan mayors join national coalition to call for a solar energy future

Group of 300 elected officials from every state sign on to “Mayors for Solar Energy” letter

Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan mayors and a former mayor representing five cities across our state have joined a list of 300 across the U.S. in signing on to a letter calling for a future powered by more clean renewable solar power, released today by Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center. The group of “Mayors for Solar Energy” committed to this cause is bipartisan and represents cities of all sizes spanning all 50 states.

Mayors from Michigan who signed onto the letter include Mayor Rosalynn Bliss of Grand Rapids, Mayor Beth Bashert of Ypsilanti, Mayor Christopher Taylor of Ann Arbor and Mayor Jim Carruthers​ of Traverse City. 

“Solar energy is charging forward at a pace we once thought to be impossible, and America’s cities are at the forefront of spurring that progress,” said Nathan Murphy, state director with Environment Michigan Research and Policy Center. “Local officials are unlocking the power of the sun by taking advantage of millions of available rooftops and broad public support to bring cleaner, greener and more resilient energy to their communities.”

Mayors involved in this effort are not only signing on to this letter, but are also speaking publicly about the importance of solar power. 

The mayors here in Michigan also recognize the wide array of benefits beyond environmental protection. Locally sourcing solar power is not only a win for the health of their constituents, but it’s also smart governance. 

“Solar power is about more than renewable energy. It’s a way to save money, create jobs, and rebuild depressed communities,” said Dave Strenski, an Ypsilanti advocate working on their solar goals. “Ypsilanti has gone from zero solar power to over 1.2MW, over 57W per capita, in the past 14 years. We have solar on many of our city building and our fire station is 100% solar powered.”

The Mayors for Solar Energy project goes beyond the letter itself, including resources such as the Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar policy toolkit and webinar trainings to help cities in Michigan adopt more renewable energy. 

“Mayors for Solar Energy is proof that regardless of geography, demographics or political affiliation, local leaders understand how beneficial solar can be for a wide array of communities,” Ben Sonnega, Environment Michigan’s Go Solar Campaign Associate said. “The future of energy will be clean and close to home, and these mayors represent the first wave of leaders who will bring the benefits of solar to communities across Michigan.”


Environment Michigan is dedicated to protecting our water, air and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.