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Solar installers worry about market in Michigan

"Installing solar panels" by OregonDOT is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Some solar panel installers are thinking about leaving Michigan. They believe the market for solar power is about to be severely curtailed.

A 2016 law sets a cap based on one percent of a utility’s average peak demand. There are enough residential and commercial solar power users that Consumers Energy is close to hitting that cap.

Laura Sherman is the President of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council.

“We’ve been pushing the legislature to fix this," said Sherman. "We can have a longer conversation about how much that solar is worth down the road. But it doesn’t seem reasonable to us to just curtail a market entirely.”

A statement from Consumers Energy says the cap doesn’t mean solar installations can’t be hooked to the grid and users paid for excess power. But, reaching the cap means the utility will pay less in the future. Some estimates predict about half the current rate.