What if the electric company paid you instead of you paying them?  Ever wonder how to get solar power in Kalamazoo, Michigan?

Solar panel installation
Elena Elisseeva

It's that time of year.  Electric bills go sky high as our air condition units kick on.  That in combination with the bountiful sunshine got me thinking about solar power today.

Then I read a story about DTE Energy installing the first of nearly 200,000 total solar panels in Lapeer, MI.  According to Crainsdetroit.com,

The solar projects will be able to provide enough energy to power more than 9,000 homes, the company said in a news release Tuesday. About 150 temporary jobs will be created by the company's Lapeer solar projects during construction, according to the release.

The Netflix documentary "Catching the Sun" points out solar is not only about generating more cost effective energy, but it's also a huge job creator not to mention far better for the environment.

Currently, China leads the world in Solar Power.  That's right, not the US.  China.  In fact, many countries with far less average daily sunlight produce far more solar power than the US.  According to Bloomberg.com,

China plans to more than triple solar power capacity by 2020 to as much as 143 gigawatts to help reduce carbon emissions.

We see solar power creating jobs and dropping energy costs not to mention lessening dependence on foreign oil for China, Germany and Japan.  We are even seeing a large growth of solar on the East side of Michigan.  The price of installing solar panels has dropped 70% in the US since 2009.  So, how can we start catching the sun in Kalamazoo?

I've done lots of research and haven't found any large or even small scale programs similar to what's happening in Oakland, CA or Lapeer, MI.  However, I found 4 companies in just Kalamazoo that specialize in solar and wind energy.

Kerwin Electric
(269) 375-6543
7930 South 8th Street
Kalamazoo, MI  49009

Eco-friendly Contracting
(269) 598-1101
5280 Azo Ct.
Kalamazoo, MI 49048

Helios Solar
(269) 343-5581
248 West Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Solar Winds Power Systems
(616) 635-7855
2421 Applelane Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

 Does anyone know of any big programs or deals other than tax breaks for getting solar power in Southwest Michigan?
Let us know in the comments below.



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