Michigan Report Tallies 2016 On-Site Renewables Growth
The number of Michiganders who produced their own electricity in 2016 grew by nearly 430 over the previous year, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s (MPSC) annual Net Metering and Solar Program Report.
The newly released report, which tracks on-site renewable energy electric generation in the state, says 2,582 residential, commercial and industrial customers participated in Michigan’s net metering program in 2016, up 427 from the previous year. Solar remains the leading form of energy generation under the program, a position it has held since 2010. Wind is the second most popular.
The report says the total capacity of net metering installations in 2016 was approximately 21,888 kW, an increase of 4,823 kW – or 28% – from 2015. The program represents 0.024% of Michigan’s total retail electricity sales.
Michigan’s net metering program, established in 2008 under Public Act 295, is available to customers of rate-regulated utilities, cooperatives, and alternative electric suppliers. As the MPSC explains, net metering offsets part or all of a customer’s energy needs and reduces their electric bills. When customers produce more electricity than they need, power is provided back to the serving utility, permitting the customer to receive a credit.
About 2,500 of the net metering customers, or roughly 75%, have projects that are up to 20 kW. DTE Electric Co. has the most, at 1,418, followed by Consumers Energy Co. at 544 and Upper Peninsula Power Co. (UPPCO) at 132. Seventy-two customers have projects of 21-150 kW; Consumers has 40 and DTE 27 of the total. According to the report, all participating utilities except UPPCO have substantial room in their programs to add new customers.