Prasad Gullapalli is the president and founder of Srinergy
, a solar energy solutions company located in Novi, Michigan. Prasad has over 18 years of experience working in a variety of industries including energy, automotive, software, manufacturing and retail. After spending many years within the information technology industry, Prasad decided to switch gears, and started conducting intensive research in the energy industry, specifically solar. His solar experience is vast and includes completing feasibility studies of large solar energy generation systems throughout the United States. His first project endeavor in the solar industry was going solar with his home in Novi.
Since its inception in 2010, Srinergy has completed solar projects in residential, commercial and non-profit market segments and continues to grow. The company's key focus continues to be promoting social responsibility and sustainability through solar energy.
Prasad has a Master of Science degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Engineering degree in production engineering.
Posted By: Prasad Gullapalli
I hope I have sparked your interest and that you Ann Arborites are encouraged to "Go Solar" after reading my first blog! Well, now onto the interesting stuff… how to go about financing solar projects.
There are several options available including conventional loans, leasing, fund raising and incentive programs. With an average cost of installing a single solar panel at $1,000 each, we are looking at financing $10,000 for a solar system with 10 panels. The good news is that as a homeowner or business owner, you can get a federal tax incentive of 30% of the total cost of the solar system if the system is financed through a loan, and you end up owning the system. After deducting the federal incentive credit, the final cost of this example solar system is $7,000. Other loan options available for home owners include home equity loans, as well as unsecured loans, like the ones offered through Srinergy with GE Capital.
For business and non-profit organizations, financing options include business loans or raising money through fund raising campaigns. In today's market, getting qualified for a loan can be difficult; therefore, the best option is to go for lease financing. In the market today, most solar companies offer lease options with 0% down. This leasing option is actually one of the best for businesses, as the monthly lease payments are less than the energy savings realized by going solar, so there is a positive cash flow already from Day 1! Non-profit organizations can take advantage of this lease financing option as well. Non-profits have an added advantage of campaigning through "Go Solar" fund raising campaigns, where donors can take advantage of tax benefits through their contributions and at the same time, help non-profits in reducing their energy costs and promoting sustainability in the community.
I believe the best way to "Solarize" Ann Arbor is through a community based sustainability model, which represents a win-win scenario for everyone involved and helps create socially responsible individuals (SRIs) within the community. Non-profit organizations in Ann Arbor could certainly take a lead in this "Million Solar Panels" initiative for all their buildings and facilities within each community that they are serving through a combination of donations, leasing and incentive programs.
One such incentive program unique to Ann Arbor is the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Click on the link to learn more about this wonderful and unique program. Ann Arbor is the first city in Michigan that has launched this program, which provides loans based on a percentage of appraised property value against which commercial or non-profit organizations can borrow money for energy efficiency and renewable energy generation projects, including solar. Projects can range from $10,000 to $350,000. The loan amount is simply added to their current tax bill, and is paid back within 10 years. Commercial and non-profit organizations in Ann Arbor can "Go Solar" through this PACE program, where the energy savings that can be realized through projects such as a Solar PV system will be greater than the additional tax bill. So with the variety of financing options and federal incentives available, non-profit organizations could very easily lead the "Go Solar" initiative in Ann Arbor!
So, how do we get Ann Arbor to reach the "Million Solar Panel" target? Through creative financing and forming community-based strategic partnerships with solar companies to help share the cost and spread the benefits of solar throughout Ann Arbor. Combining these partnerships with community initiatives such as PACE, along with people who want to be environmentally friendly and have a positive contribution to the environment, we can make it happen.
Posted By: Prasad Gullapalli
Greetings Ann Arborites!
This is my first blog about solar energy, and I believe it to be very timely, as solar has been in the news quite a bit lately, not just in Michigan, but across the United States. It's quite the hot topic today!
For some time now, I have had this idea and strong belief that the Ann Arbor community can make a difference and become a role model to the entire United States. How, you may ask? By initiating a "Million Solar Panel" community-based initiative. This initiative would enable every citizen of the community, whether it's a home owner, a student, a business owner or non-profit organization to "Go Solar" and promote green living in the Ann Arbor community by adopting a solar panel. The impact is mind boggling when you look at the environmental impact it would have. The installation of a million solar panels in Ann Arbor would be the equivalent of planting 400,000 acres of trees, eliminating five million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the environment, and avoiding the consumption of 10 million barrels of oil over the life of the solar panels. Wouldn't that be something?
A few months ago, my company, Srinergy, completed a solar PV project in Ann Arbor at the Amma Center on Ann Arbor/Saline Road. This project, which has a total of 56 solar panels, was a huge success on so many levels, not just for me personally, but for the center, for the community, the visitors, and all other Amma Centers across the world, where the news of the Ann Arbor Amma Center going solar has already spread. See the energy generated and the associated environmental contributions of the Solar PV system to date here.
The sheer environmental attributes of adopting "A Million Solar Panels" would also make Ann Arbor the home of socially responsible individuals (SRIs) within a socially responsible community. How do we go about this, you may ask? The answer is quite simple. Let's say every home owner, business, school, church or any community based organization in Ann Arbor adapts a mere 10 solar panels each. In order to reach our million-panel target, we would need a combined total of 100,000 homes, businesses, community based organizations and individuals to participate. Even if you are an individual living in an apartment or a student living in dorm you can support this initiative, too, by sponsoring or adopting panels through a business or school. No one needs to be excluded from the process. Ah yes, the cost. I will talk about how this can be funded through federal tax incentives and local Ann Arbor incentives in my next blog.
In the meantime, become a SRI. Start thinking about what you can do on a personal level to promote solar throughout the Ann Arbor community, through this environmentally friendly "Million Solar Panel" initiative. Let's make Ann Arbor a socially responsible community by adopting solar and contributing to the environment. Wouldn't this be something!