NOVI — Until recently, owners of commercial buildings had difficulty financing comprehensive renewable energy savings projects that required a large amount of up-front capital and many years to achieve profitability. It was a problem well understood by Prasad Gullapalli, president of Novi-based Srinergy, a global solar project development company.
That has changed with the recent completion of Srinergy’s solar and wind installation at the 1-800-LAW-FIRM building in Southfield. It is the first privately financed Property Assessed Clean Energy project in Michigan.
The PACE program enables property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable projects through a special property tax assessment with local governments and lenders that provide fixed interest loans with terms of up to 20 years. The result is a positive cash flow for property owners since the monthly energy savings generated are greater than the PACE loan repayment.
Srinergy worked with Levin Energy Partners and Petros PACE Finance to develop a comprehensive renewable energy project that would meet the vision of Ari Kresch, CEO of 1-800-LAW-FIRM, to set an example of sustainability within the community and leave a highly visible impression and lighter footprint in the region.
“Srinergy was one of the first companies to grasp the opportunity that PACE presents,” said Andy Levin, founder of Levin Energy Partners and creator of Lean & Green Michigan, which helps commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners finance energy projects. “
With 1-800-LAW-FIRM, Prasad looked at the building and all its systems holistically — seeking different ways to save energy. He put the entire project together from soup to nuts.”
The 150-kilowatt project at 1-800-LAW-FIRM incorporates roof-mounted solar panels, along with four 1-kilowatt vertical, roof-mounted micro-wind turbines, solar carports, two electric vehicle charging stations located under the carports and parking lot induction lighting.
“This installation is a tremendous testimonial for the PACE program, giving Michigan its first actual commercial example of going through the process with this type of financing,” said Mark Ferda, renewable energy account manager for Madison Heights-based McNaughton-McKay Electric Co., which supplied the project’s American-made solar panels, inverters, solar racking, and EV charging stations.
It is estimated that 1-800-LAW-Firm’s renewable energy systems will generate more than $1 million in savings during the 20-year PACE financing term. Today, visitors can view real-time solar energy production and environmental contributions associated with the system on monitors in the building lobby.
In December, the Great Lakes Renewal Energy Association honored
Srinergy and the project with the Exemplary Project of 2014 award,
presented to Srinergy, 1-800-LAW-FIRM, and Lean & Green Michigan. The project was unique in that it incorporated multiple renewable technologies as well as various solar applications at one location, setting an example for other commercial business owners and developers to follow.
“We are confident that moving forward other commercial property owners will take the baton from Ari Kresch and help move Michigan forward in developing and creating sustainable businesses and a cleaner environment in Michigan and beyond,” said Gullapalli.
Srinergy offers turn-key solar solutions including design and engineering capabilities for commercial, industrial and residential customers throughout the United States and other countries including India and the Caribbean Islands. Srinergy finances many of its own projects, including the ability to finance projects through PACE for larger commercial projects, and through Michigan Saves for residential projects.
More at www.srinergy.com or call (248) 257-4054.
Photos: Above, solar panels and wind turbines atop the 1-800-LAW-FIRM building in Southfield. Below, a solar auto carport is also part of the project.