Dave Strenski: New Energy for Detroit

Uploaded by SearchStories on 16.09.2011

If you did an internet search on the greater Detroit area you'd see bad news.
Companies are closing, that houses are being foreclosed upon...
However when there are negative things going on there's also opportunity.
And for people that look for it, like Dave, they see the opportunity and they say
"I can make a difference here."
There's a constant stream of negative news about you know economics and whatever,
and so it's nice to inject some positive news coming out of Ypsilanti.
It's motivation to make you want to do something to help out your town.
So my friend, Caryn, who is the manager at the Ypsilanti food co-op sent me what she
thought was a grant for a solar project. Turned out it was a very low interest loan.
So it kind of sparked my interest and then I did some searching and was able to actually
find a small six thousand dollar grant from the state of Michigan.
But I've never done solar, I didn't know square one about how it was done.
We bought panels, we figured out how to do it, and that was our first system.
We needed to monitor the power and be able to track how much is coming in and out.
And I did find products that would do this for us,
but those products could cost thousands of dollars.
We didn't have a thousand dollars.
We invented a way to read utility meters for essentially free.
My goal is to see a cloud, and I want to see a nice smooth solar graph
and I want it to dip a little bit and know that a cloud just went over the solar panels.
My wildest dreams is to have a hundred locations in Ypsilanti, all on Solar Ypsi, all being
tracked in real time, and Ypsilanti would be the place to come for solar information.
When I started I was searching and I was looking in ten or twelve different places.
And so now we have a website where information's already been collated and so somebody can
search on solar, find this site and hopefully have all the information they need.
It's just amazing that you see people in far off remote villages in like Mongolia,
they're looking for solar power for some information.
It's there for them to find.
It's happening, it's so cool.