Ask the University of Michigan for Solar at the Big House
  • Petitioned Mary Sue Coleman

This petition was delivered to:

President, University of Michigan
Mary Sue Coleman
Executive Director, Athletics Department
David Brandon
Executive Director, Office of Campus Sustainability
Terry Alexander

Ask the University of Michigan for Solar at the Big House

    1. Petition by

      Ecology Center

Please list your University of Michigan affiliation (student, alumni, box seat ticket holder, football fan, etc.) in your "reason for signing" field!

Across the country, the NFL is surging ahead with efforts to green its stadiums. The only problem is, the largest stadiums (and thus, those creating the biggest waste) are for college teams, not the professionals. And the biggest of the big is the "Big House", home to the University of Michigan Wolverines.

Despite a number of impressive efforts on campus to improve U of M's sustainability (including an initiative to use recycled caps and gowns at this year's commencement), University officials continue to resist efforts to put up solar panels, claiming it isn't cost effective. But if they can make it work in Seattle and Philly, surely Ann Arbor can work too. Besides, it shouldn't all just come down to the bottom line in terms of dollars—universities are places for educating, and this is a unique opportunity for U of M to educate and lead a large new sector in sustainability: college stadiums.

While the University of Michigan is known as a great school for many things, the Wolverines put the campus on the map. And with climate change creeping forward, there is no time to lose—this initiative is a winning combination for the Wolverines, bringing positive attention to the university with real consequences for the planet.

Join us in asking University leadership to make an announcement that they'll commit to solar at September 27th's EarthFest.

Photo credit: jmartcmu

Recent signatures


    1. Pictures: NFL stadiums go solar

      Check out some inspiring photos from around the country...

    2. There's even a Guide to Solar Stadiums!

      Here's a step-by-step guide to help @umichfootball go solar. Thanks @NRDC! Solar for Your Stadium or Arena --

    3. Campaign Calls on North America's Largest Stadium to Go Solar

      More than 3,000 people have joined a campaign on calling on the University of Michigan to commit to using solar energy in its football stadium.
      The campaign, created by the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, follows a growing NFL trend of...

    4. Reached 3,000 signatures
    5. Even Nascar is doing it!!

      Check out the graphic with this cool NYT article...

    6. Solar Installations Rise, but Manufacturing Declines

      "The international drop in solar cell demand has pushed down prices, which has helped spur the rise in American installations, the report said. An open question for the future is how much more demand will be created by these lower prices."

    7. The collapse of Solyndra (solar mfr) is creating a lot of panic ... BUT...

      that's not stopping new start-ups. There's real potential in this technology to create breakthroughs for renewable energy technologies.

    8. Solar prices keep dropping...

      "Wholesale PV module prices have fallen precipitously since about 2008, and those upstream cost reductions have made their way through to consumers," said Galen Barbose, a co-author of the report working in the lab's Environmental Energy Technologies

    9. Reached 2,500 signatures
    10. Reached 5 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Nathan Van Velson LANCASTER, PA
      • almost 3 years ago

      As an avid college football fan, I think this is a wonderful idea! I challenge the University of Michigan to be a shining example of sustainability for other universities to follow.

    • Shan Rose COLUMBIA, SC
      • almost 3 years ago

      I think it is high time for using solar at any and all facilities where this is possible!

    • Lew Okun ANN ARBOR, MI
      • almost 3 years ago

      The Big House, like every house in America, should be as energy efficient as possible. As your neighbor on Main Street in Ann Arbor, I ask, What's up with the way the lights stay on at the Big House all night long? Why not turn them off and conserve energy? As a Michigan alum (MA 1978 PhD 1983), I ask that you make us alums even prouder and take a leadership role in the transition to clean and sustainable energy use. Go Solar! Go Blue! Go Solar, Blue!

    • Sharon Calkins MIDLAND, MI
      • almost 3 years ago

      Michigan hosts one of the largest manufacturers of solar panel components. Our progressive Universities should be moving forward toward green energy as well as supporting Michigan industry

    • Barbara Trypaluk SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY
      • almost 3 years ago

      To avoid climate catastrophe we need to start swtiching to renewable sources of energy NOW.


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