The Seebaldt Pilot

 The Seebaldt Pilot

Geography: Detroit, Michigan 48204
June 2017-October 2019
Team Lead with sub-consultants Mannik+Smith Group, Drummond|Capenter PLLC, Distributed Power, Srinergy,
Client: The One Block Residents (OBR) Committee

STORY + GOALS: The Seebaldt Pilot (TSP) will benefit the residents of Detroit. TSP will create a community solar system and Net Zero Energy (NZE) district in the Detroit 48204, serving Low and Moderate Income (LMI) households on Seebaldt Street between Beechwood and Firwood.  The project pilots a unique Hybridized Net Zero Energy (HNZE) Canopy which will provide solar power for electricity  and collect rainwater for community agriculture irrigation. The Canopy, designed by studio[Ci], who is also leading a diverse locally-based technical team including Mannik Smith Group, Drummond Carpenter, and Srinergy, is central to TSP. HNZE canopies do more than collect and distribute: they create a new public realm for the community which also supports stormwater mitigation through green infrastructure practices. TSP households and LMI residents will receive  low-cost renewable energy generated from our unique  “roofless” community  solar system. and targeted energy efficiency and weatherization improvements.  TSP goals include:

  • Acquisition and Activation of Vacant Land
  • Housing Stabilization, Rehab, and Ownership
  • Reduction of Energy Costs and Energy Waste
  • Water Management
  • Food Production
  • Public Realm and Mobility Enhancements
  • Sustainability through equity, energy justice, and community ownership.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: studio[Ci] has cultivated a 5-year partnership with It Starts at Home (IS@H), 2 years with TSP One Block Residents (OBR) Committee and D4 – our non profit fiduciary. The result is a shared neighborhood vision to create a sustainable future for the 48204 community by incorporating an unique solar technology and creating an energy cooperative to deliver energy, education, and empowerment to LMI residents. We are leveraging the once in a generation opportunity to both affordably acquire and activate concentrations of publicly owned (DLBA) vacant parcels for generative infrastructure (energy, water, food, waste, and mobility) and institute renewable systems (workforce development, empowerment, education, culture, and economic development).  In 2017-2018, TSP was awarded a US Department of Energy Solar in Your Community Grant, a MAE/MEO Event Sponsorship Grant, and two prestigious LafargeHolcim Foundation design awards, which facilitated design and engineering, implemented a canopy prototype and community gardens, supported OBR monthly meetings and quarterly community events which raised awareness and expanded advocacy, and created a community space at 5005 Seebaldt, site of the HNZE prototype, gardens and many formal and informal community gatherings.

SYSTEM: Acquire and improve three (3) vacant DLBA-owned parcels (5005 and 4507-4517 Seebaldt); install nine (9) HNZE Canopies – featuring PV thin film and two (2) service meters. CSS will deliver 100kW to the grid to provide electricity to 24 households/LMI owners and tenants who are named as the pilot beneficiaries of the TSP Trust, a legal structure which owns and manages land and infrastructure and will collect beneficiary membership fees and pay DTE bills.

STATUS: HNZE 100kW system Design, Engineering, Project Permitting, and Prototype testing complete as of 31 OCT 2018 (1 kW on site battery storage system). TSP Trust and DTE Partnership in process. Once tested and proven at the “one block”, scale, we plan to replicate TSP|HNZE across the entire 48204 neighborhood: 11,000 households and 30,000 residents of Detroit, and other resource constrained community across the city, North America, and the Globe.


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