All the slide shows and presentations are handed in; advocates and opponents have made and rested their cases; and the state’s Solar Working Group has had its last meeting on the future of sun power in Michigan. Now it’s the Michigan Public Service Commission’s turn. MPSC staff have until June 10 to sort through piles of data and then draft a report suggesting ways the state’s top two utilities could help more customers install rooftop solar systems.
The SWG holds its last information-gathering meeting May 20 before the state issues a draft report in June that could recommend new ways to develop more customer-owned, rooftop solar power in Michigan. The meeting might be contentious: It features a presentation by the Edison Electric Institute, a national utility trade group that sees rooftop solar as an existential threat to their clients’ monopolies, and helps lead a multi-state attack on the technology.
As work group meetings continue, interviews with solar panel owners confirmed that they are glad they built their systems, but have suggestions for improving the utilities’ solar pilots and the state’s net metering rules.