Blog: Prasad Gullapalli

Ann Arbor is well within its power to have a million solar panels up and running, according to Prasad Gullapalli, founder and president of Srinergy. This week Gullapalli discusses how to manage and finance this solar target.

Solarize Ann Arbor: Make it Home of "A Million Solar Panels"

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!