Consumers Power EARP program. DTE Solar Currents program.
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Power Company Requirements for Interconnect

Detroit Edison Great Lakes Energy Consumers Power

Utility companies in Michigan are offering special programs like the DTE Solar Currents program and Consumers Power EARP program. These programs make grid tie solar power up to 50% more affordable for customers.
Please click on links above and below for the latest up to date Solar Currents or EARP programs.
EARP solicitations and updates.
Selling your power to Consumers.
Selling your power to DTE.

Solar Currents makes solar energy up to 50% more affordable for customers who purchase and install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on their home or business. 

Solar Currents is a new pilot program offered by Detroit Edison. It’s designed to reduce:

  • The installed cost of a solar PV system

  • Your monthly electricity costs for 20 years

  • Your carbon footprint

Detroit Edison has been authorized by the Michigan Public Service Commission to partially reimburse customers for installing solar PV systems, up to $25 million in total. 

Not only can you receive a generous payment upon installation, but you will receive a credit on your energy bill for the next 20 years.  This is in addition to federal tax credits and any other local incentives from your state, county, or municipality!  

In return, Detroit Edison will receive all rights to any Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) allocated to that renewable generation. It’s all part of our commitment to develop more sources of clean, renewable energy for Michigan.

We are currently accepting applications for both residential and commercial customers.

How to determine what size system qualifies for NET metering.

The first step is to estimate the energy you expect to produce annually from available wind at the installed height and the unit performance characteristics for units you are considering. This is very sensitive to local conditions, performance characteristics and height.

A term commonly used in the industry is Capacity Factor which is expected output divided by theoretical output. For example if you were considering a 5 kW unit and site and unit conditions indicated it would produce 6,570 kWhr per year, the capacity factor would be 6,570 kWh/ (8760 hours *5kW) or 15 percent.

The next step would be to total the amount of electricity that you use from your last twelve electric bills to get your annual use and divide that number by 8760 to get your average hourly use. For example if your 12 electric bills showed you used 14,450 kWh per year that would be 1.65 kW per hour on average.

The next step would be to determine the size needed by dividing the 1.65 kW/hour use by the capacity factor of 15%. This would indicate you would need to install an 11 kW unit to produce your annual needs.

The sensitivity of output to location and unit specific characteristics is demonstrated by units in the net metering program in place from late 2007 through mid 2009. Wind units in that program have operated at annual capacity factors ranging from 4 to 24 percent. A 5kW unit operating at these extremes would produce 1,752 kWh per year at the low end to 10,512 kWh per year at the high end. Consequently, to properly size your unit it is essential that your specific conditions be considered.

The exact same procedure would be used to size a solar installation. However, solar units are less sensitive to site conditions (assuming all installations would be in unshaded areas with the proper inclination and directional placement).

The lack of sensitivity for solar installations is demonstrated by units in the net metering program in place from late 2007 through mid 2009. Solar units in that program have operated at annual capacity factors of 14 to 15.5 percent. A 5kW unit operating at these extremes would produce 6,132 kWh/year at the low end to 6,789 kWh/year at the high end.

Experimental Advanced Renewable Program EARP.

Consumers Energy is accepting applications for a limited number of customers that generate electricity using solar photovoltaic systems and want to sell it back to the utility for a set price.

This pilot program is called Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP) and is part of the Renewable Energy Plan outlined in state law as part of public act 295 of 2008. The program is limited to 2,000 kilowatts (kW) of capacity, with 500 kW reserved for residential systems.

How the Program Works
Rates

The program offers the following rates for energy produced by qualifying solar photovoltaic systems:

  • For the first 250 kW of residential capacity, the EARP rate is $0.65/kilowatt-hour (kWh). For the second 250 kW of residential capacity, the EARP rate is $0.525/kWh. A residential system that is offered the $0.65/kWh rate must be installed by May 1st,  to qualify. (This changes with every Phase)

  • For the first 750 kW of nonresidential capacity, the EARP rate is $0.45/kWh. For the second 750 kW of nonresidential capacity the EARP rate is $0.375/kWh. A nonresidential system that is offered the $0.45/kWh rate must be installed by May 1st,  to qualify. Please check site for current info. EARP Program Info

The rates paid to participant systems will be fixed under contract for up to 12 years. Residential systems must have a DC nameplate capacity of at least 1 kW, with a maximum capacity of 20 kW. Commercial (nonresidential) systems must have a minimum nameplate capacity of 20 kW, with a maximum capacity of 150 kW.

Systems equipped with a battery back up system or other energy storage systems will not be allowed to participate under the EARP pilot. Energy produced by the solar energy system must be metered separately from the customer’s existing electric service, and the utility will own any renewable energy credits and capacity associated with the system.

Any energy consumed by the system when not operating will be billed at the customer's normal retail rate GS for kWh units, with all associated taxes and fees. Participants also will be assessed a System Access Charge equivalent to the existing distribution customer account used to qualify for the program to cover metering costs.

 

What about Islanding?  At one point, utility companies were concerned with back flow of electricity from a renewable power home into the grid during black outs. This would pose a hazard to utility workers. This is not a concern with modern equipment.  Failsafe mechanisms and redundant switching (mechanical and electric) are in place to ensure Islanding does not occur.

Need help completing the applications? We are glad to provide appropriate grid tie interconnect documentation and assistance to our customers free of charge. We can help you get accepted into DTE SolarCurrents program or the Consumers Energy Earp program.

Based in Michigan, we provide the best design, solar and wind equipment and installation for our region. We custom design the renewable power systems for: wind power systems,  solar power systems,  hybrid systems and grid tie systems. And we cater to the DYI crowd. You are one call away from independent power. Dedication. Professional Assistance. Excellent Prices. We provide complete technical assistance and the finest solar and wind power equipment for your power projects. d.

We are your Michigan solar installer!
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