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DTE Energy - Solar Currents Program

Eligibility 
Commercial
Industrial
Local Government
Nonprofit
Residential
Schools
State Government
Federal Government
Agricultural
Institutional
Savings Category 
Solar Photovoltaics
Program Info
Sector Name 
Utility
Administrator 
DTE Energy
State 
Michigan
Program Type 
Rebate Program
Rebate Amount 

Residential Rebate: $0.20/W
Residential Production Incentive: $0.03/kWh
Non-Residential Rebate: $0.13/W
Non-Residential Production Incentive: $0.02/kWh

Summary 
Note: Note: The Solar Currents program fulfilled phase two of their pilot program of additional 2 megawatts of customer-owned solar projects by 2015, and are no longer accepting applications. Although the program web site above links to the residential section of DTE Energy's web page, the program itself is not limited to residential customers. Other customers that meet the program requirements are also eligible to participate.

DTE Energy offers incentives through the Solar Currents program to its electric customers that install photovoltaic systems with a capacity of 1 kilowatt (kW) to 20 kW. For residential customers, the program offers both an up-front rebate of $0.20 per DC watt and a production incentive of $0.03 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the renewable energy credits (RECs) produced by the system through August 31, 2029. The rates for non-residential customers are $0.13/W upfront and $0.02/W for the RECs. Both new systems and existing PV systems with valid DTE Energy Net Metering and Interconnection Agreements are eligible to participate in the program. All systems must be grid-connected, net metered, and be sized not to exceed on-site energy needs.

The up-front rebate (characterized as a REC pre-payment by DTE Energy) is payable upon the successful installation of the system.The production incentive payments are received as a credit on the customer's electricity bill. At the end of the calendar year the customer will receive a check for any unused bill credits from the utility if the balance is more then $250. The level of the production incentive is not affected by whether or not the system is a new system or an existing system.

The production incentive portion requires all systems to be equipped with a separate generation meter -- provided at no cost to the customer by DTE Energy -- to measure total system energy production (i.e., REC production). System owners are responsible for costs associated with connecting the system to the grid and for wiring and meter socket installation costs associated with the generation meter. Additional requirements, including minimum equipment standards (e.g., CEC listing for PV modules) and installer qualification requirements are described above and in further detail on the program web site. The utility recommends, but does not require, that all new systems carry a 5 year installation warranty, and manufacturer warranties of 5 years on inverters and 20 years on PV modules. All systems are subject to post-installation inspection by utility personnel.

The program is being offered as part of DTE Energy's compliance plan under the state Renewable Portfolio Standard. Four rounds of funding are expected, with 500 kW of installations expected each round. Pricing will be reviewed after each offering. For the first round of offerings, 1.5 MW is reserved for residential systems, and 0.5 MW is reserved for non-residential. The application periods will open on per the below schedule:

  • January 7, 2013
  • June 24, 2013
  • January 2014
  • June 2014


Please consult the program web site for additional information on net metering, interconnection requirements, and further program rules.