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Michigan

Michigan

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Interconnection Standards   

Last DSIRE Review: 01/04/2013
Program Overview:
State: Michigan
Incentive Type: Interconnection
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells, Municipal Solid Waste, CHP/Cogeneration, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Microturbines, Other Distributed Generation Technologies
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Institutional
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives
System Capacity Limit:No limit specified
Standard Agreement:Yes
Insurance Requirements:Vary by system size and/or type; levels established by PSC
External Disconnect Switch:Not addressed
Net Metering Required:No
Web Site: http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,1607,7-159-16393_48212---,00.html
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
MCL ยง 460.1171 et seq.
10/06/2008
10/06/2008
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Michigan PSC Order, Case No. U-15787
05/26/2009
05/27/2009
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
PSC Order, Docket U-15919
12/20/2012
Summary:

The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) first adopted interconnection standards for distributed generation (DG) in September 2003. The original standards provided for 5 levels of interconnection with cutoffs at 30 kilowatts (kW), 150 kW, 750 kW, and 2 megawatts (MW), but left many details of the interconnection process up to the utilities. In October 2008 Michigan enacted Public Act 295 (P.A. 295), creating a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and authorizing the development of a mandatory, statewide net-metering program. In May 2009, the PSC issued an order formally adopting new net metering rules and revised interconnection rules to implement P.A. 295 of 2008. The rules do not apply to municipal electric utilities, which are not regulated by the PSC.

The revised rules are somewhat similar to the version adopted in 2003, but offer improved detail and customer protections in some areas. Certain aspects of the newly adopted rules apply only to net metered systems, but the rules generally apply to all distributed generation. The revised rules provide for the following interconnection categories:

  • Certified, inverter-based systems of 20 kW or less;
  • Systems greater than 20 kW but not more than 150 kW*;
  • Systems greater than 150 kW in capacity, but not more than 550 kW;
  • Systems greater than 550 kW in capacity, but not more than 2 (MW); and
  • Systems greater than 2 MW

Certified systems are defined as those that use equipment certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory to IEEE 1547.1 testing standards and in compliance with UL 1741. Utilities have some leeway in how they evaluate requests in that the rules are generally silent on the appropriate technical screens, engineering, and operational requirements for different categories of interconnection request. However, the rules do offer customer-generators the following protections against unreasonable requirements.

  • Additional insurance requirements are prohibited for category 1 & 2 projects and utilities may not require the customer to name the utility as an additional insured party. Category 3-5 projects are required to have general liability insurance of at least $1 million.
  • Application and review fees are subject to PSC approval and Category 1 fees are limited in total to an application fee of $75.
  • The rules contain specific time lines for the processing and review of interconnection requests for different categories of system.
  • Utilities must designate and maintain points of contact for initial information requests and must designate a point of contact for each interconnection applicant to address inquiries about technical issues and the status of interconnection requests (contact information for individual utilities is available on the program web site).
  • Disputes may be resolved through the PSC and technical disputes may be put before a panel of independent experts. Utilities are responsible for reasonable expenses incurred by the expert panel in their investigation.
  • Utilities must provide standardized interconnection applications and agreements to customers, with a simplified version for Category 1 requests.

Customer-generators are not required to install an external disconnect switch, although the PSC declined to prohibit utilities from making such a requirement. Utilities are generally prohibited from establishing additional fees; requiring additional equipment or insurance; or making other requirements not specifically authorized by the standard rules.

In December 2012, the PSC finalized Category 1 and Category 2 (projects of less than 150 kW or less) interconnection and net metering forms, agreements, and procedures. The forms and procedures are available on the program web site. Categories 3-5 will be addressed in a future order.

*The PSC has indicated (see March 2009 PSC Order approving revised interconnection rules) that Category 2 should be used for systems of 20 kW or less, but that are not inverter-based (and hence not eligible for Category 1 treatment).


 
Contact:
  Cathy Cole
Michigan Public Service Commission
Renewable Energy Section
Phone: (517) 241-6065
E-Mail: colec1@michigan.gov
 
  Julie Baldwin
Michigan Public Service Commission
Electric Reliability Division, Renewable Energy Section
P.O. Box 30221
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 241-6115
E-Mail: baldwinj2@michigan.gov
Web Site: www.michigan.gov/renewables
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

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