Changes in US solar distribution
Dr Ganesan Visvabharathy, founder CEO of Solar Micronics Incorporated, shares his enthusiasm for providing clean energy to low income families with PES. The company has a wide portfolio, in a variety of areas and so brings a plethora of skills and expertise to the solar market.
PES: We are pleased to welcome you to PES Solar/PV. Would you like to begin by explaining a little about the background of your organisation and how you currently serve the solar/PV industry?
Dr Ganesan Visvabharathy: My background is electrical engineering, but I spent most of the past 27 years developing real estate. But, the great recession of 2008 made me focus on a burgeoning solar industry, with the bottom having fallen out of the real estate market. We started Solar Micronics in late 2009. Historically, we have focused providing clean energy for commercial and industrial sector.
Our operation base is Chicago, Illinois. Over the last years, Illinois hasn’t been known for solar, but the recent fixing of the state’s renewable portfolio (standards RPS) is changing all that.
Illinois is now poised to be the third largest solar market in US, with the recently announced changes to the renewable energy credit (REC) program. A bit more about us–our firm has a core set of professionals for design, and engineering, and procurement, but oftentimes, we hire installers on a per job basis.
All our installers are NABCEP-certified and have undergone the required OSHA training. As you know, NABCEP is the gold standard for installers in the US.
Solar Micronics has been blessed with a substantial order book with over 30 commercial installations pending, all of which will bloom when the state’s adjustable block incentive (ABI) program comes into place.
We are not operating in just Illinois, but also in North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In our efforts, we are ably assisted by Yolanda Contreras, our Vice President for Operations and Bill Zastrow, our design engineer.
PES: We have been reading about Solar Micronics’ participation in the national contest for bringing affordable solar to housing residents, could you explain to us what this entails?