Renewable Roundup: Ann Arbor builds wind exhibit, solar facility proposed for Ypsilanti

More alternative energy projects are coming to Washtenaw County next year, and they range from job creation to education. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is leveraging federal dollars to create a traveling wind energy exhibit that will crisscross Washtenaw County for the next year or two. Ypsilanti Township officials are also reviewing plans for a solar production facility.

According to Ypsilanti Township's website, V-Max USA is proposing to build a solar technology production facility in the township. The 30,000-square-foot structure would go up on Michigan Avenue near Ellsworth Road. The township is expected to further review plans for the project early next year.

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy to buildout a wind energy education exhibits. One of the exhibit will be mobile so it can make visits to schools and events across Washtenaw County.

"We have a travel exhibit that will become permanent," says Mel Drumm, director of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.

Four of the exhibits will be housed in the downtown Ann Arbor museum. The traveling exhibit will also start out in the museum for six months before going on a year-long tour of the county. The exhibits will focus on providing users with a hands-on educational experience about how wind energy is generated, stores and distributed. It will start out as a simulation of how wind energy works but Dumm hopes it can become something more real, such as incorporating actual wind energy generation into the exhibit.

"We are actively seeking a way to do that," Drumm says. "The best way to learn is to do it."

Source: Mel Drumm, director of the Ann Arbor Hands-on Muesum
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at