Michigan has adopted true net metering for solar-electric systems 20 kW and under. Systems over 20 kW still get
a lousy deal, but residential systems (usually under 20 kW) have one of the best deals in the USA. You
can literally run your meter backwards when your solar electric or wind system is generating more energy than your home is
using, and get retail credit for every kilowatt-hour.
Michigan law gives you "indefinite
rollover" meaning if you generate more than you use in any given year, the credit rolls over to the next year, and the next
year and you will never lose the value of any clean energy you have sent to the grid. It is also true however, that you will
never get cut a check for this energy. Thus, you will have to use the energy you generate to get your "money's worth." Size
your array carefully for your annual use by going to PV Watts Flex Viewer
, where you can estimate how much energy a solar array would produce in your area.
(Note of caution: The default "derating factor" is .77 for the PV Watts calculator, which
assumes that your system's AC power generation is only 77% of rated DC power installed, about average. In contrast,
when I plugged in all the specs for our array, and using our average annual production, I was able to determine our
actual experimental derating factor is .88)
It may make sense to get an
electric vehicle first, so your demand is enough to justify a much larger array. (Nissan Leaf gets 4.2 miles/kWh,
Chevy Volt gets 2.5 mi/kWh, Ford Focus Electric gets 4.3 miles/kWh all approximate)
Do YOU want to net meter in Michigan?
Before you can connect to the grid, you need
to fill out and send two documents to your utility company.
1) At the very end of this MPSC ruling is one document
you will need:
MPSC Ruling standardizing interconnection and
net metering applications
and 2) you will also need to fill out a parallel operating agreement, which you can obtain
from your utility.
Once you do, you will enjoy the equivalent of a "100% efficient battery," as net metering allows you to use the grid
to "store" energy in perpetuity! (In truth, it's merely "credit" that's being stored on DTE's ledger. Your neighbors will
immediately use any energy your system sends to the grid. )