An unlikely legal win by neighbors of a Michigan wind farm would have the potential to chill wind energy development in the state, legal experts say.
The number of customers selling electricity back to the grid in Michigan climbed again in 2016, according to an annual report released by the state last month. The state’s net-metering program, which lets ratepayers sell surplus power back to the grid at retail prices, added 427 customers and nearly 5 megawatts of capacity, most of it from solar. While the state’s total solar capacity doubled last year through utility-scale projects, net-metering momentum is at risk after 2018, as the state prepares to replace net metering with a tariff aimed at better reflecting the value of solar and other forms of distributed generation. The Michigan Public Service Commission spent much of 2017 designing a replacement for the state’s decade-old net metering program, a requirement under the state’s sweeping 2016 energy law. The net-metering debate has revolved around whether customers’ use of solar panels is being subsidized by other ratepayers, or if the systems provide a net benefit to the electric grid.
Valerie Brader, whom Snyder appointed to lead the Michigan Agency for Energy when it was created in 2015, has been at the forefront of Michigan energy issues.
The study from the school’s Urban Energy Justice Lab found energy efficiency programs at Michigan’s two largest utilities disproportionately benefit wealthier ratepayers.
Roughly 350 feet below the surface of the Straits of Mackinac — about the same depth as a passenger rail tunnel that links England and France — Michigan officials envision a 10-foot-wide tunnel to house the controversial Line 5 oil and gas pipeline.
With the ongoing decline of solar energy costs and now a favorable ruling by Michigan regulators recognizing its ability to produce valuable energy during peak times, advocates say the sector is poised for growth here.
A Michigan nonprofit says bypassing politics is the best way to encourage clean energy adoption at the local level.
With the declining costs of solar energy and Michigan’s increased renewable portfolio standard, small townships throughout the state are confronting challenging land-use questions amid the increase in large-scale solar proposals.
Michigan officials recognized six public entities this week for efficiency investments that collectively will save nearly $2.1 million a year in energy costs.
A bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers introduced a bill last week that aims to clear up confusion over tax collections for small-scale distributed generation projects.