Michigan has been very progressive with its solar stance of late. Utility scale, commercial scale, and residential systems are on the rise. In fact, the state is 31st in the nation for solar installations. The 152 megawatts of installed solar capacity in Michigan is enough to power 25,000 homes.
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Here are some key numbers about the Great Lakes State’s solar installation activity to date;*
- There are approximately 237 solar companies in Michigan. 4,196 people currently have employment with them.
- $70 million of solar investments was injected into the state in 2018. The cumulative number is now $280 million.
- About 43 megawatts of solar was installed in 2018, ranking the state 30th for that year.
- Prices for solar are about 47 percent lower than the previous year.
There are quite a few large scale solar installations in Michigan. Notable commercial installations include IKEA’s 1 megawatt rooftop system and Ford and GM’s installs at about 500 kilowatts each. Michigan’s major utility, DTE Energy, has also helped spur multiple solar farms from 500 kilowatts to a megawatt in size. A plan for the largest, by far, solar installation at 20 megawatts is in the works by the Lansing Board of Water and Light.***
Michigan’s net metering policy is in quite fair. Residential customers can have pv system sizes as large as 20 kilowatts. Compensation for excess generation is done at the retail rate. The aggregate capacity limit needs raising as it stands at only 0.75 percent.**
The state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard is certainly achievable. Utilities are required to provide at least 15 percent of their energy from renewables by 2021.**
The solar contractors in Michigan can now service the entire state. A large majority of the approximately 67 installers primarily work in the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas. These locations include Rochester Hills, Pontiac, Bloomfield Township, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Royal Oak, Dearborn Heights, Mt. Clemens, Novi, Canton, Wyoming, Muskegon, and Holland. Other commonly served cities include Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Mt. Pleasant, Midland, Saginaw, and Flint to name a few.
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*Information and figures gathered from seia.org.
**Information and figures gathered from dsireusa.org.
***Information and figures gathered from wikipedia.org.