Distributed Generation (Net Metering) Growth, Areas of Concern Tool

For Friday, Nov. 2, 2018


1 – The state’s Distributed Generation Program enables people to install on-site renewable energy electric generation projects to meet some or all of their electric energy needs and reduce their bills.

The customer reduces electricity purchases from the utility by using their generated electricity “behind the meter” and receives a credit for excess generation.

A new report from the Michigan Public Service Commission says participation in the program increased from 2,582 customers and 2,684 installations in 2016 to 3,277 customers and 3,427 installations in 2017.

michigan distributed generation program customers solar wind renewable
Via the Michigan Public Service Commission

At the end of 2017, the total capacity of program installations was about 29,571 kilowatts, an increase of 35 percent over the previous year.

Participation in the Distributed Generation Program, formerly known as the net metering program, has increased each year since 2006, with nearly 700 customers added in 2017.  

Ninety three percent of program participants have installed solar projects, with a small number of wind projects.

While the program continues to grow, it still represents only 0.032 percent of Michigan’s total retail electricity sales.


2 – Two research teams will develop an evaluation tool focusing on recovery work completed at toxic hot spots known as Areas of Concern.

The Saginaw River and Bay is one of those areas, designated due to impacts from historic pollution.

The Michigan Office of the Great Lakes has awarded two grants totaling almost $200,000 for the work, to teams from Michigan State University and Earth Economics of Tacoma, Washington.

areas of concern aocs michigan great lakes
Michigan Areas of Concern. Via the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes

Officials say the research will help prioritize proposed restoration projects to account for “the social, ecological, economic and cultural significance of water.”

The first phase is to design the evaluation tool. The second will be to develop it.

The United States and Canada created the Areas of Concern Program in 1987 under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Forty-three Great Lakes sites with environmental damage were designated as Areas of Concern in need of restoration, 14 of those in Michigan.

Two Michigan sites, White Lake and Deer Lake, have been successfully restored. Twelve, including the Saginaw River and Bay, are in various stages of restoration.


– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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