Michigan

Solar power in Michigan has been growing in recent years due to new technological improvements and a variety of regulatory actions. Conversations regarding the technology are ongoing in the state legislature, regulatory agencies, and communities around the state. In particular, lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have been debating legislation aimed at overhauling the state’s 2008 energy policy, which includes provisions on revamping the state’s net metering program and clean energy standards.

  •  Current and Recent Issues:
    • In June 2016, the state legislature adjourned for summer recess with no notable progress on energy reform legislation.
    • In May 2016, the Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee passed the following bills, which aim to overhaul the state’s energy law:
      • SB 437
        • The bill would maintain the state’s 10% choice market, which calls for 10% of energy to be available from suppliers other than the big utilities. The plan also requires the energy suppliers in that 10% to prove to the Michigan Public Service Commission that they have enough supply to meet peak demand, plus a growth factor.
        • The bill also lays out a detailed integrated resource planning process designed to replace the clean energy standards adopted in 2008.
      • SB 438
        • The bill would establish a 35% clean energy goal by 2025 – to be met by energy efficiency and renewable energy – but phase out a state program specifically for efficiency by 2025.
        • The bill would also revamp the state’s current net metering program; however, existing participants would be grandfathered in under the existing system.
    • SCIP – On September 1, 2015, the  Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced that it will develop its own State Carbon Implementation Plan (SCIP) to control its carbon emissions. Michigan’s Solar Energy Industries Association plans to assist the state in developing the plan.
  • Regulatory  Agencies:
    • The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality manages Michigan’s air, land, and water resources to support a sustainable environment, healthy communities, and vibrant economy. It is currently developing a SCIP to begin compiling with EPA’s new carbon emission rules.