Perhaps nothing encourages people to put solar panels on their roof so much as the promise of receiving a check from the utility company every month. In order to increase the amount of solar energy in its portfolio, Consumers Energy in Michigan is promising to do just that.
The utility, which provides electric and natural gas service to nearly 6.5 million Michigan residents, just announced expansion of its popular Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP), which provides for the long-term purchase of renewable energy generated by solar energy systems owned by the company’s electric customers. The next round of the production-based incentive program will incorporate 3 megawatts (MW) – 1.5 MW residential and 1.5 MW commercial – of customer-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) systems into the utility’s generation portfolio. The second round of the EARP program will offer participating customers $.200 to $.259 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar energy produced for up to 15 years.