solar

David Cassleman

Thousands of households in Michigan generate their own electricity with solar panels. They’re reimbursed by utility companies for any extra power they put into the grid under a program called net metering. 

But under new rules, those customers are going to get less in return. 

 


Republican Senator John Proos of St. Joseph is proposing legislation that would require individuals with solar panels to sell their energy back to the utility companies at a wholesale rate and buy it back at a retail rate. This is also known as net metering.

When we think solar power and solar panels, what comes to mind? 

The sun, of course. So what are the prospects for solar power in areas that tend to be cloudy, snowy, and cold? Places with short days and long nights? Places like Michigan's Upper Peninsula?

Upper Peninsula Second Wave writer Sam Eggleston joins us from Marquette to discuss what might happen when solar power meets the UP.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Community Solar Project Delayed

Feb 13, 2014
Bob Allen

Utility leaders in Traverse City will delay the expansion of a community solar project until summer 2015, as a number of solar panels already installed at Cherryland Electric Cooperative remain unsold.

Tim Arends, of Traverse City Light & Power, says the original plan was to build more arrays on the city power grid this summer. That won’t happen.

Arends says he’s not convinced they’ve done enough marketing for the project. He wants to reach out to more customers.

Habitat for Humanity

The rising costs of electricity and heat are a struggle for many low-income families to pay. So groups that build affordable housing are turning to energy-efficient homes to cut those costs, even down to nothing. A new project in the center of Traverse City could be a showpiece for this trend.

One of the recipients is Jenni Wagner a single mom who knows what it’s like to make tough financial decisions.

"I had to choose between making rent or making utilities and rent won," she says.

A new kind of community garden officially opened with a ribbon cutting today near Traverse City. It’s a solar energy garden funded by customers who lease solar panels from Cherryland Electric Cooperative.

The SUN Alliance, is the first of its kind in Michigan. Electric customers can buy a share in a solar project that’s installed and maintained by the company.

The co-op already has installed the first array of 80 panels on its property and 80 more customers are on a list waiting for panels to arrive for a second array.