Mich Enviro Report: Dow Making Solar Shingles & EPA Targeting Saginaw Bay

As heard Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, on Delta College public radio Q-90.1 FM

Photo via Dow Chemical/Saginaw Future


Solar shingles made by the Dow Chemical Co. are rolling off the line in Midland.

The company says it will bring its POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle to U.S. markets this month, starting in Colorado and moving into targeted states next year.

According to Dow officials, the POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle combines the performance and protection of a conventional asphalt roof with an integrated photovoltaic system that powers the home. The shingles can save a homeowner money and are an alternative to rack-mounted systems.

Dow officials say the POWERHOUSE system can be installed when a homeowner is purchasing a new home, or replacing an existing roof due to repair or replacement.

Dow is partnering with national homebuilders, developers and professional roofing contractors to bring the POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles to U.S. homeowners.

About a dozen states have been targeted for introduction of the POWERHOUSE product between now and the end of 2012.

How much will a solar roof cost you? A Dow vice president says an asphalt roof with POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles can be thousands of dollars less expensive than other integrated solar products.

The POWERHOUSE  Solar Shingles are being manufactured at a small facility in Midland. Dow Chemical has begun construction of a new, large-scale facility in the city, and expects to create  up to 1,275 jobs between now and 2015.


Ongoing algae problems in the Saginaw Bay watershed are being targeted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA Chief Lisa Jackson said during a stop in Detroit last week that her agency has set several priorities for projects in Michigan, including work to reduce algae in Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay watershed.

Jackson says that over the next two years, her agency will prioritize efforts to reduce phosphorus pollution to Saginaw Bay. Ohio’s Maumee River and the Lower Fox River in Wisconsin also will be targeted.

Phosphorus runoff from farms, failing septic systems and sewage overflows has been blamed for causing algal blooms in Saginaw Bay.

Jackson said the area will receive special attention as part of a federally funded Great Lakes restoration program.

The Saginaw River and Bay were listed as federal hot spot, or Area of Concern, in the late 1980s.

(See also: Toxic Algae Bloom in Lake Erie Worst in Decades)



  1. The solar shingles are awsome. They may be a little cost prohibitive for a lot of folks but in the long run the power company will be paying you to have them on your roof.

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