Joshua Davis performs Sting's "Fields of Gold" on the April 27 broadcast of NBC's "The Voice." (Photo: NBC)

Forum Features ‘Shines’ Solar Program

May 3, 2016 | |

Benzie County homeowners who are considering adding solar panels to their homes are invited to a League of Women Voters forum on Wednesday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Frankfort City Hall (412 Main St, Frankfort). The forum will highlight and answer questions about a new, locally based campaign called Groundwork Shines that makes going solar easy and financially attractive.

Several speakers from Groundwork will explain the campaign, which is aimed at homeowners whose roofs can facilitate strong solar power production.

Speakers include Jim Dulzo, Groundwork’s senior energy policy specialist; Aubrey Parker, a founder of the Benzie Solar Initiative, now a Shines manager; and Mary Van Valin, a Groundwork board member who owns a home solar system as well as several shares in Cherryland Electric Cooperative’s community solar project.

“Although few people in our region noticed it, solar power has become way more affordable over the past few years and now makes economic sense for many homeowners,” Dulzo said. “Our Shines campaign is designed to make the move to solar power quick and easy for people in our area.”

The Shines campaign was designed by Groundwork in collaboration with local solar installers,  educators at Northwestern Michigan College, and representatives from other nonprofit organizations.

The campaign—also under way in Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties—identifies homes ripe for solar power; recommends smartly sized solar “kits” containing all necessary equipment; produces a customized, precisely engineered installation plan that is building code-ready; offers special, long-term, low-interest solar loans; and assigns a local contractor to quickly install the system so homeowners can start making their own electricity, cutting utility bills, and protecting Pure Michigan’s air and water.  

For more information about Groundwork Shines, visit

About Groundwork Shines

To learn more about Groundwork Shines, and to sign up, visit
or email Dan Worth at [email protected]

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