The PSC’s 2012 Report shows strong growth in the Michigan net metering program. Net metering customers increased approximately 31% from 2011 to 2012. Most notably was the increase in net metering generation from 6166 kilowatts (kW) generated in 2011 to 9583 kW generated in 2012. This is an increase in approximately 55%. This increase in generation was most noticeably a result of the addition of 15 total new Category 2 customers by Consumers Energy, DTE Electric and Thumb Electric combined and Great Lakes Energy’s addition of the only Category 3 customer. Despite the growth in Category 2 and 3 projects, Category 1 net metering projects continue to account for 84% of the state’s total net metering program capacity.
Michigan law restricts the Category 1 net metering program to 0.5% of the electric provider’s peak load during the previous year. For Consumers Energy, this leaves approximately 40MW of space remaining. For DTE Electric, the space remaining is slightly higher at approximately 50MW.
Solar is by far the largest technology used in the net metering projects more than doubling the contributions made through wind technologies. The strong gains in Solar over the previous year are directly attributable to the expanded Experimental Advanced Renewable Program being offered by Consumers Energy. More details on the current status of net metering in Michigan and the state’s current solar programs are provided in the PSC’s annual report.
 Category 1 = net metering projects up to 20 kW incorporating UL 1547 certified inverters.
Category 2 = net metering projects greater than 20 kW, but no larger than 150 kW and non-inverter based 20 kW and under projects.
Category 3 = net metering methane Digester projects up to 550 kW.
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