Michigan/EZ Policies

Jump to: navigation, search

EZ Policies for Michigan

To create a new entry use the form EZFeed Policy.
The EZ Policy Inventory is searchable by technology, policy type, and other fields with the EZ Policy Search Form.
Review process tips and editing help are here. Updates, additions and corrections are welcome!

To see federal policies go to the Federal Policies page.


Download EZ Policies for Michigan CSV (rows 1 - 50)

Policy Place Policy Type Active Implementing Sector Summary
Air Pollution Control (Michigan) Michigan Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province This rule requires an annual report from a commercial, industrial, or governmental source of emission of an air contaminant if, in the judgment of the Department, information on the quantity and composition of an air contaminant emitted from the source is considered by the Department as necessary for the proper management of the air resources. In addition, other state rules and federal statutes and regulations require sources to report air emissions if certain conditions are met. The Air Quality Division (AQD) has outlined the general criteria that are used to determine if a source must report.
Air Pollution Control Facility, Tax Exemption (Michigan) Michigan Property Tax Incentive
Sales Tax Incentive
Yes State/Province An application for a pollution control tax exemption certificate shall be filed with the state tax commission in a manner and in a form as prescribed by the state tax commission. The application shall contain plans and specifications of the facility, including all materials incorporated or to be incorporated in the facility and a descriptive list of all equipment acquired or to be acquired by the applicant for the purpose of pollution control, together with the proposed operating procedure for the control facility.

For the purposes of this tax exemption, “facility” means machinery, equipment, structures, or any part or accessories of machinery, equipment, or structures, installed or acquired for the primary purpose of controlling or disposing of air pollution that if released would render the air harmful or inimical to the public health or to property within this state. Facility includes an incinerator equipped with a pollution abatement device in effective operation.

For the period subsequent to the effective date of the certificate and continuing as long as the certificate is in force, a facility covered by the certificate is exempt from real and personal property taxes imposed under the general property tax act Tangible personal property purchased and installed as a component part of the facility is exempt from sales tax.
Alternative Energy Personal Property Tax Exemption (Michigan) Michigan Property Tax Incentive No State/Territory Note: The exemption may only be taken on taxes levied between December 31, 2002 and January 1, 2013.


In July 2002, the Michigan legislature created a statewide personal property tax exemption designed to promote the development, commercialization, and manufacturing of a broad range of alternative energy technologies. The Michigan Next Energy Authority Act of 2002 subsequently created the Michigan Next Energy Authority which among other things is tasked with certifying alternative energy property tax exemptions within the state on a yearly basis.

Property exempt from personal property tax includes:


  • alternative energy systems less than two megawatts (MW), or an integrated combination of alternative energy systems of no more than 10 MW (except for wind, photovoltaics and fuel cells, which have no capacity limit)
  • alternative energy vehicles
  • the personal property of an alternative energy technology business
  • the personal property of a business not engaged in alternative-energy technology that is used solely for the purpose of researching, developing or manufacturing alternative energy technologies

Alternative energy systems include: fuel cells, PV, solar thermal heating and cooling, wind energy, CHP, microturbines, miniturbines, Stirling engines, electricity storage systems, and clean fuel energy systems powered by methane, natural gas, methanol, ethanol or hydrogen. See MCL § 207.822 for a complete listing of eligible technologies. The exemption may be taken on taxes levied between December 31, 2002 and January 1, 2013.

The exemption applies to companies engaged in the manufacturing or research and development of alternative energy technologies and non-residential alternative technology owners. Property must be new to Michigan; must not have previously been subject to or exempted from Michigan taxation; and be certified by the Michigan Next Energy Authority in order to qualify for the exemption. The exemption does not include real property, such as land and buildings. Local school districts or local tax collecting units may adopt a resolution disallowing exemption of the property from certain taxes.

The NextEnergy Authority legislation was amended in 2006 (SB 583), making additional alternative energy technologies and systems eligible for tax benefits. The amendment expands tax exemption eligibility to include biomass energy systems and thermoelectric energy systems, broadens the scope of companies that can be certified as alternative energy technology companies, expands the definition of alternative energy vehicles to include hydraulic hybrid vehicles, broadens the definition of clean fuels to include renewable fuels such as biodiesel and fuels from biomass, and removes the capacity caps for fuel cell, photovoltaic, and wind energy systems.

Separately, the Michigan Strategic Fund designated a Michigan NextEnergy Zone as a Renaissance Zone in 2002. The Renaissance Zone designation means that businesses within the NextEnergy Zone may be eligible for other tax benefits*. The NextEnergy Zone is located in Detroit at Wayne State University Research and Technology Park. It is home to the NextEnergy Center, which includes laboratory facilities, business incubator space, and other facilities to support Michigan’s alternative energy industry. Contact the NextEnergy Center for more information.


*Public Act 38 of 2011 repealed the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) and implemented the Corporate Income Tax (CIT). Public Act 39 was passed in conjunction with the CIT and allows for credits awarded under the MBT to be retained for the duration of the agreements. Businesses receiving certain credits, including Renaissance Zone credits, may choose to either continue to file under the MBT to continue claiming their credits, or file under the CIT. No additional Renaissance Zone business tax credits will be awarded after 2011.
Renewable Operating Permits (ROP,Title V) (Michigan) Michigan Fees Yes State/Province The Renewable Operating Permit (ROP) is required by Title V of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The ROP program clarifies the requirements that apply to a facility that emits air contaminants. Any facility in Michigan that has the potential to emit 10 tons per year of any one hazardous air pollutant (HAP), 25 tons per year of any combination of HAPs, or 100 tons per year of any other regulated air contaminant is considered a "major source," and is subject to the ROP program.

The ROP pulls together all of the requirements into a single document giving the facility, state and local regulatory agencies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), and the public a better picture of air emissions at a facility. Thus all Permits to Install and any other applicable air quality requirements will be incorporated into one permit.

A ROP does not add any new requirements; however, many facilities have to establish new monitoring systems to demonstrate compliance with emission limits and material usage limits. Once an emission source receives a ROP, the burden of proof is shifted from the regulatory agency to the emission source. It becomes the emission source's responsibility to determine whether a violation has occurred and report the findings. Therefore, facilities must track their compliance with state and federal air quality requirements and make reports to the regulatory agencies.
Biomass Gasification and Methane Digester Property Tax Exemption (Michigan) Michigan Property Tax Incentive Yes State/Territory Michigan exempts certain energy production related farm facilities from real and personal property taxes. Among exempted property are certain methane digesters, biomass gasification equipment, thermal depolymerization systems, and equipment used to harvest crop residues or dedicated crops used for energy production.

In order to be eligible for the exemption, methane digester equipment must be certified by the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the farm must be verified as compliant under theMichigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). In addition, the facility owner must allow "access for not more than 2 universities to collect information regarding the effectiveness of the methane digester and the methane digester electric generating system in generating electricity and processing animal waste and production area waste". The exemption includes equipment used to generate electricity from methane digester systems and equipment used to generate heat or electricity from biomass gasifiers.
Capital Access Program (CAP) (Michigan) Michigan Loan Program Yes State/Province The Capital Access Program (CAP), utilizes public resources to generate private financing for small business in Michigan seeking access to capital. Funding from the Michigan Strategic Fund is joined with private banking participants to enable more favorable loan access for small businesses. To date, the private/public ratio of funding has been approximately 28 to 1. Eligible businesses must have no more than 500 workers and the maximum loan amount which may be enrolled in CAP is $5 million.
City of Ann Arbor - Green Power Purchasing (Michigan) Michigan Green Power Purchasing Yes Local In May 2006, the Ann Arbor City Council adopted a resolution that established a goal of 30% renewable energy for all municipal operations by 2010, with an associated 20% reduction in greenhouse gases. The resolution also established a goal of 20% renewable energy for the entire Ann Arbor community by 2015. In July 2009, the EPA announced that the city of Ann Arbor was among the top-20 users of on-site renewable energy in the nation. The city generates and uses roughly 8.9 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually from green energy sources, primarily biogas, solar, and small hydroelectric facilities. This amounts to roughly 20% of the annual electricity consumption in city facilities. The city came short of its 2010 goal, achieving 19.8% renewables by 2010. In April 2011, the City Council passed a new goal to reach 30% renewables by 2015 (compared to 2000 levels) in municipal operations, and 5% renewables community-wide. The resolution also encourages the city staff to reach this goal using long-term, fixed-rate contracts with in-state wind generation.
City of Grand Rapids - Green Power Purchasing Policy (Michigan) Michigan Green Power Purchasing Yes Local In 2005, the City of Grand Rapids established a goal of purchasing 20% of its municipal power demand from renewable energy by 2008. In November 2007, the city signed a three-year agreement with a three-year renewable with Consumers Energy to purchase Green-e Certified blocks of renewable energy valued at a reduced rate. This purchase agreement is equivalent to roughly 15% of municipal electricity consumption, which, coupled with the 5% renewable-energy component of Consumer's Energy base load generation, met the 20% goal established in 2005. The city offset the additional cost of this green electricity purchase by exploring energy and cost savings opportunities in cooperation and through energy efficiency efforts with support from grant funds and capital projects. The Mayor has also established a further goal of purchasing 100% of the city's municipal electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2020. Due to significant energy efficiency efforts, and energy consumption reduction, as of November 2011, the city is purchasing 22% of its energy from renewable sources.
City of Lansing - Green Power Purchasing Policy (Michigan) Michigan Green Power Purchasing Yes Local By an executive order from the Mayor's Office, City of Lansing facilities are now required to procure 10% of their energy consumption from renewable sources by 2010, escalating to 15% in 2015 and 20% in 2020. This green power purchasing policy is part of a broader initiative designed to reduce the contribution that city facilities make to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Several additional provisions apart from green power procurement are contained in the order, among them a goal of reducing energy use in city facilities by 10% as soon as it is practical and mandates that city facilities purchase EPA Energy Star certified appliances and hybrid/renewable fuel vehicles unless an otherwise demonstrable need exists.
Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) Budget Permits (Michigan) Michigan Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province Michigan implements the federal requirements of the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) through state regulations. Michigan's Rule 821 requires subject sources to obtain and operate in compliance with a CAIR Annual NOx Budget permit and/or CAIR Ozone NOx Budget permit. Rule 420 requires subject sources to obtain and operate in compliance with a CAIR SO2 Budget permit. All CAIR Budget permits must be issued and renewed in keeping with Michigan's Renewable Operating Permit program procedures.
Climate Action Plan (Michigan) Michigan Climate Policies Yes State/Province On November 14, 2007, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm issued Executive Order No. 2007-42 establishing the Michigan Climate Action Council (MCAC). The Council is comprised of members representing academia, a broad base of industry, utilities, state and local government, and environmental interest groups. The Council will act in an advisory capacity to:

1) Produce an inventory and forecast of greenhouse gas sources and emissions from 1990-2020; 2) Consider potential state and multi-state actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change in various sectors including energy supply, energy efficiency and conservation, industrial process and waste management, transportation and land use, and agriculture and forestry; 3) Develop a comprehensive climate action plan with specific recommendations for reducing greenhouse gases in Michigan by business, government and the general public, and 4) Advise state and local government on measures to address climate change.

The Council is being supported by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which is the lead state agency for this effort and by the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) a nonprofit service organization that has substantial experience working directly with public officials and their stakeholders to facilitate the development of climate action plans.

In addition to the Council, there will be five technical work groups that will have further input into the process by reviewing technical documents, developing and reviewing proposed policy actions and recommendations and providing feedback on priorities.
Coldwater Board of Public Utilities - Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (Michigan) Michigan Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility The Coldwater Board of Public Utility, in conjunction with American Municipal Power's "Efficiency Smart" program, offers a wide range of incentives that encourage commercial and industrial to pursue energy efficient equipment and energy saving measures. Prescriptive rebates are available for efficient lighting, HVAC equipment, compressed air systems and accessories, motors, refrigeration equipment, and food service equipment. Efficiency Smart also provides a custom incentive program for energy saving projects which may not be covered by the prescriptive program. Program applications, which include rebate calculation worksheets, are available on the program web site. Consult the program's terms on the application and contact the Coldwater Board of Public Utility or the Efficiency Smart program with any questions.
Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (United States) United States Grant Program
Loan Program
Yes Federal Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBG/EDIF) provides public infrastructure financing to help communities grow jobs, enable new business startups and expansions for existing businesses. State programs help achieve the national objective of CDBG by funding projects in which at least 51 percent of the new jobs created are made available to low and moderate income individuals. The maximum amounts awarded under the program are $1 million for new businesses locating to the state and $500,000 for existing businesses expanding in the state.
Consumers Energy - Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (Michigan) Michigan Performance-Based Incentive Yes Utility Note: Check the program web site for application materials and information on future solicitations. Consumers Energy is not currently accepting applications for Residential and Non-Residential EARP Solar customers. Future phases are planned into 2015 as needed to meet program capacity targets. Consumers Energy is not currently accepting applications to the Anaerobic Digestion program.


The Experimental Advanced Renewable Energy Program (EARP) offers Consumers Energy residential and non-residential customers a buy-back tariff program for electricity produced by solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and anaeorobic digestion. The pilot version of the program began in 2009 and closed in December 2010, but an expanded version of the program has extended into 2015. Owners of residential systems from 1-20 kilowatt (kW) and non-residential systems from 1-150 kW are eligible to participate in the program. Residential customers must receive electric service on tariff rate RS or RT in order to be eligible for the program. Non-residential customers on tariff rates RS, RT, GS, GSD, GP, and GPD are eligible for the program. The expanded program is capped at 3,000 kW of capacity, with 1,500 kW for residential systems and 1,500 kW for non-residential systems. Contracts will be awarded in phases, with 125 kW available each quarter for residential customers, and 250 kW available for non-residential customers every six months.


It is important to note that this is not a net metering program and program participants are not eligible for net metering. Under the program, Consumers Energy will purchase all of the electricity produced by the system through a fixed-rate contract of up to 15 years. Contracts will be 15 years in length, but may not have a termination date of later than August 31, 2029. Electricity production is metered separately from the customer's existing electricity source (i.e., the grid). Participants are assessed a monthly System Access Charge equivalent to the existing distribution account used to qualify for the program to cover metering costs.* Systems with battery back-up or any other type of energy storage capability are not eligible to participate in this program. In order to be eligible for the program, solar equipment must be manufactured in Michigan or constructed by a Michigan workforce (detailed requirements are available on the program web site). The solicitation phases and purchase rates are as follows:


{
DTE Energy - Solar Currents Program (Michigan) Michigan Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility 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.
Dam Safety (Michigan) Michigan Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province This rule requires that anyone who desires to construct a dam that is 6 feet or more in height and impounds 5 surface acres or more at the design flood elevation, must first obtain a permit from the Department of Environmental Quality
Energy Revolving Loan Fund - Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing (Michigan) Michigan Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory Note: This program is not currently accepting applications. Check the program web site for information regarding future solicitations.


In January 2010, Michigan enacted the Public Act 242 of 2009, which established the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Fund Program. The Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing portion of this program is available to small businesses located in Michigan who are seeking to invest and diversify in clean energy sectors, manufacturing renewable energy and energy efficiency systems and components.

Applicants are evaluated based on minimum credit standards and face-to-face interviews. Loan recipients are required to submit quarterly reports related to energy use, payback, and other economic information. Program funds cannot be used for any systems installed before the date of the loan agreement. In order to qualify for the loans, the applicant must have 500 employees or less.


Program information and applications are available on the program web site.
Energy Revolving Loan Fund - Farm Energy (Michigan) Michigan State Loan Program Yes State/Territory In January 2010, Michigan enacted the Public Act 242 of 2009, which established the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Fund Program. The Farm Energy Audit/Assessment portion of this program is available to family farms in Michigan for projects recommended through the Michigan Farm Energy Audit program. Applicants are evaluated based on minimum credit standards and face-to-face interviews. Loan recipients are required to submit quarterly reports related to energy use. Program funds cannot be used for any systems installed before the date of the loan agreement. For questions regarding farm energy audits, contact Al Go at Michigan State University.
Energy Revolving Loan Fund - Passive Solar (Michigan) Michigan State Loan Program Yes State/Territory In January 2010, Michigan enacted the Public Act 242 of 2009, which established the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Fund Program. The Passive Solar Systems portion of the loan program is available to family farms and non-profits located in Michigan. Under this program, a passive solar system is defined as "a structure which can extend the growing season to ten to twelve months without additional supplemental heat or light."

Applicants are evaluated based on minimum credit standards and face-to-face interviews to determine knowledge of and interest in passive solar systems. Loan recipients will be required to attend a passive solar system workshop and are required to submit quarterly reports related to production. Program funds cannot be used for any costs incurred before the date of the loan agreement.

Applications are available on the program web site.
Energy Revolving Loan Fund - Public Entities (Michigan) Michigan State Loan Program Yes State/Territory Note: The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is not currently accepting applications for this loan fund. Check the program web site for future solicitations.


In January 2010, Michigan enacted the Public Act 242 of 2009, which established the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Fund Program. The Public Entities portion of the loan program is available to cities and villages located in Michigan for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems. Applicants are evaluated based on minimum credit standards. Program funds cannot be used for any costs incurred before the date of the loan agreement.

The following size restrictions apply for wind, solar thermal water heat, and ground source heat pumps:


  • Wind: 20 kW or smaller
  • Solar Thermal: 20 kW or smaller
  • Ground Source Heat Pump: 5.5 tons of capacity or smaller


Applications are available on the program web site and must be submitted to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Forestry Policies (Michigan) Michigan Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Michigan's 19 million acres of forests are managed by the Department of Natural Resources, Forestry and Water Division. The Department issued its Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy document in 2010:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/Strategic_457570_7.pdf

The document mentions several issues with regard to better utilization of forest woody biomass resources, and the DNR has in the past submitted request for grant proposal to address issues identified in the Assessment and Strategy document: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/3000NASPFSingleRFP110110_339415_7.pdf

The DNRE issued sustainable harvesting guidelines for the state in 2010, highlighting the state's historical use of woody biomass and recommending harvesting guidelines to maintain and promote sustainable forests: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/WGBH_321271_7.pdf

Michigan State in 2011 produced the Michigan Biomass Inventory tool, under grant funding from the Michigan Biomass Energy Program: http://mibiomass.rsgis.msu.edu/Default.aspx

The Michigan Technological University has released the "Michigan Forest Biomass Information System", a web-interface tool for evaluating inventories of forest biomass resources throughout the state: http://fbis.mtu.edu/index.html

The Michigan Biomass Energy Program issues grants for biomass energy development in the state, currently under the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program:

http://www.nextenergy.org/michigan-renewable-energy-demonstration-program-round-2-biomass/
Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure (Michigan) Michigan Generation Disclosure Yes State/Territory Michigan's Customer Choice and Electric Reliability Act of 2000 (P.A. 141) requires electric suppliers to disclose to customers details related to the fuel mix and emissions, in pounds per megawatt-hour (MWh) of electric generation. Electric suppliers must provide this information to customers twice annually in a standardized, uniform format. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) staff must calculate the regional electricity generation and environmental characteristics and make it available to be used by the state's generation providers. The web site above describes the methods for updating the regional generation characteristics and is updated annually by November 1st.
Hazardous Waste Management (Michigan) Michigan Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province A person shall not generate, dispose, store, treat, or transport hazardous waste in this state without complying with the requirements of this article. The department, in the conduct of its duties as prescribed under this part, shall assist in encouraging, developing, and implementing methods of hazardous waste management that are environmentally sound, that maximize the utilization of valuable resources, that encourage resource conservation, including source separation, recycling, and waste reduction, and that are consistent with the plan to be provided by the department. In addition, the department, in the conduct of its duties as prescribed by this part, shall assist in implementing the policy of this state to minimize the placement of untreated hazardous waste in disposal facilities. Except as otherwise provided in this section, each owner or operator of a landfill shall pay to the department a fee assessed on hazardous waste disposed of in a landfill. The fee shall be based on the quantity of hazardous waste specified on the manifest or monthly operating report.
Interconnection Standards (Michigan) Michigan Interconnection Yes State/Territory 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. 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 here. Categories 3-5 will be addressed in a future order.

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 and 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.

*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).
Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Compact (Multiple States) Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Mississippi
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
New York
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Virginia
West Virginia
Wyoming
Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission assists member states efficiently maximize oil and natural gas resources through sound regulatory practices while protecting the nation's health, safety and the environment.

The Commission serves as the collective voice of member governors on oil and gas issues and advocates states' rights to govern petroleum resources within their borders.

The Commission formed the Geological CO2 Sequestration Task Force, which examines the technical, policy and regulatory issues related to safe and effective storage of CO2 in the subsurface (depleted oil and natural gas fields, saline formations and coal beds).

The Commission also funds research on hydraulic fracking, reusing water used in extracting oil and gas, and makes recommendations on national energy policies and statutes for individual states.

The Commission also has several associate states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In addition, it has international affiliations with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon.
Legislation: H.B. 5524 (Michigan) Michigan Generating Facility Rate-Making
Renewables Portfolio Standards and Goals
Yes State/Province This bill was part of a package of energy bills that enacted regulatory reform, a renewable portfolio standard, renewable tax credits and an energy optimization program. Regulatory reform is addressed in H.B. 5524, including the creation of a certificate of necessity for large capital investments, which will support construction of nuclear plants. Utilities can apply for and receive a certificate of necessity for assets costing $500 million or more prior to construction or purchase that allows the MPSC to predetermine the prudence of the investment (including explicitly the need for the asset and the appropriateness of the fuel choice).The MPSC may allow interest payments on capital work in progress to be passed through in rates during construction for projects granted certificates of necessity. Equity used during construction shall be recognized and treated as allowance for funds used during construction, which means an accrued rate of return on the equity and the principal equity will be applied to rates when the asset is operational.
Local Option - Property Assessed Clean Energy (Michigan) Michigan PACE Financing Yes State/Territory Note: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENow for more information about PACE financing and a comprehensive list of all PACE programs across the country.


Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing effectively allows property owners to borrow money to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. With the passage of HB 5640, Michigan has authorized local governments to establish such programs, as described below. (Not all local governments in Michigan will choose to offer PACE financing; contact your local government to find out if it has or intends to establish a PACE financing program.)

The State of Michigan signed PACE legislation into law on December 14th of 2010, authorizing municipalities to establish a loan program to provide financing for clean energy (energy efficiency and renewable energy project) improvements to commercial and industrial property owners via local ordinance. The legislation authorizes municipalities to enter into PACE agreements with commercial and industrial property owners, provide financing, and collect PACE assessments to repay the loans. Municipalities may choose to use federal grants, such as Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG), or other "funds available for this purpose" to establish PACE programs.


Presently, 193 counties in Michigan have commercial PACE funding under the Lean and Green Michigan Program. Refer to their website to see which counties qualify.


Michigan's legislation stipulates that PACE assessments for property owners with outstanding mortgages must receive written consent from mortgage holders. In addition, qualifying energy efficiency technologies may include electric vehicle charging and water reduction infrastructure costs.
Low Level Radioactive Waste Authority (Michigan) Michigan Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province Federal laws passed in 1980 and 1985 made each state responsible for the low-level radioactive waste produced within its borders. Act 204 of 1987 created the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Authority (LLRWA) to fulfill state responsibilities under federal law for managing and assuring disposal capacity for the low-level radioactive waste produced in Michigan. The LLRWA began a facility siting process in 1989 under the statutory limits of Act 204. The LLRWA eventually determined that it was impossible to find a site within the state which would meet all of the siting criteria set forth in Act 204, and active facility siting activities were suspended. Current program goals for the LLRWA include:

a) Monitor waste management activities by Michigan waste generators, and develop an annual report to the Legislature; b) Advise the Governor and Legislature on federal and state policies and programs concerning nuclear waste management, transportation, and disposal issues; (c) Serve as a resource for information on federal and state LLRW management and programs.

The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Authority was transferred into the Department of Environmental Quality in 1996 by Executive Order 1996-2 (3-15-96).
Michigan Business Development Program (Michigan) Michigan Grant Program Yes State/Province The Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans, and other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects that create jobs and/or provide investment. A minimum of 50 qualified new jobs must be created; businesses located in a rural county or which qualify as a high-technology activity must create a minimum of 25 jobs. Grants are performance-based and include flexible terms and conditions; loans are also performance-based and may include below-market interest rates, extended repayment provisions, and forgivable terms.
Michigan Collateral Support Program (Michigan) Michigan Loan Program Yes State/Province The Michigan Collateral Support Program, supported by the Michigan Growth Fund, aims to supply cash collateral accounts to lenders in order to assist borrowers collateral coverage needs. To qualify for the program, businesses must be engaged with a private lender for the purpose of acquiring a commercial extension of commercial credit and must exhibit a collateral shortfall. Eligible businesses must have not more than 750 employees. The program will cover up to 49.9 percent of a new extension of commercial credit. Maximum participation is $5 million and may not be used to support extensions of commercial credit of greater than $20 million.
Midwest Independent System Operator (Multiple States) Montana
North Dakota
South Dakota
Minnesota
Iowa
Missouri
Wisconsin
Illinois
Michigan
Indiana
Kentucky
Manitoba
Interconnection Yes Non-Profit Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) is a Regional Transmission Organization, which administers wholesale electricity markets in all or parts of 11 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. MISO administers electricity transmission grids across the Midwest and into Canada, and provides tools, transmission planning strategies, and integration for utilities in those markets. MISO is working with PJM Interconnection to develop complementing system operations and one robust, non-discriminatory wholesale electricity market to meet the needs of all customers and stakeholders in 23 states, the District of Columbia and the Canadian province of Manitoba. The market is being developed through an open stakeholder process and is being designed to serve residents regardless of whether they reside in states with bundled or unbundled retail rates.
Model Ordinance for Wind Energy Systems (Michigan) Michigan Solar/Wind Permitting Standards No State/Territory Note: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines. While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving several state agencies, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority. The Michigan Energy Office no longer supports specific zoning language, but offers examples of local ordinances from throughout the state.

The Michigan Energy Office issued sample zoning language for wind energy systems in 2008 based on wind energy development guidelines released in 2005. The guidelines are designed to serve as tools for local governments that wish to amend their zoning ordinance to address wind energy systems. The model language developed by the Energy Office assumes that the local government in question already has site plan review requirements written into the existing zoning law.

The guidance recommends separate requirements for small, on-site use oriented systems and large systems designed for commercial power production. The model language includes separate sections for facilities with tower heights of than 20 meters or less and those with larger towers. The ordinance addresses on-site use systems as a use by right which does not require a special use permit. Rules for anemometer towers are included based on the same criteria. Below are brief descriptions of some of the topics addressed by the model language.

Property Setbacks: Setback should be the total height of turbine from property lines for on-site systems and the greater of the total turbine height, the property line setback of the existing law, or the roadway right-of-way setback of the existing law for large scale systems.

Sound Pressure Level: Upper limit of 55 dB(A) at the closest property line or 5 dB(A) above ambient noise level if the ambient noise level is greater than 55 dB(A). The section also contains several exceptions for exceptional circumstances.

Code Compliance: Requires compliance with all applicable codes, including state construction and electrical codes, local building permit requirements, airport regulations, etc.

Safety: Contains requirements related to guyed tower systems, generator braking systems, lightning protection, site security, waste disposal, and warning signs. Blade tip clearance to the ground should be at least 20 feet.

Additional sections in the large wind ordinance address tower lighting, visual appearance, signal interference, shadow flicker, ancillary structures, environmental review requirements, road damage during construction, decommissioning, and complaint resolution. A final section addresses the content of site plan reviews for large wind facilities as part of the special use permit process.
Net Metering (Michigan) Michigan Net Metering Yes State/Territory The MPSC is reviewing state interconnection and net metering policies in Case U-15919.

In October 2008, Michigan enacted legislation (P.A. 295) requiring the Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish a statewide net metering program for renewable-energy systems within 180 days. On May 26, 2009 the Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order formally adopting revised net metering and interconnection rules to implement P.A. 295 of 2008. The revised rules take the place of a prior net metering "consensus agreement" between the PSC and a number of Michigan utilities (see History section below for more information).

Michigan's net metering law applies only to rate-regulated utilities and alternative electric suppliers. The designation "rate-regulated utility" presently includes investor-owned utilities and rural electric distribution cooperatives that have not opted for member regulation. As of April 2011, only Cherryland, Alger Delta, and Tri County electric cooperatives have opted for member regulation. Municipal utility rates are not regulated by the PSC. Annual net metering reports from individual utilities and alternative electricity suppliers are contained in Case U-15787, available through the PSC E-Docket System. The PSC also prepares and annual net metering report; the 2011 report is located here.

The legislation authorizes net metering for renewable energy systems using solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, anaerobic digester gas (i.e., animal waste), landfill gas, municipal solid waste, and moving water. The definition of biomass is very broad and includes agricultural crops and crop wastes; energy crops; animal wastes; paper and pulp products; and a variety wood waste materials. Moving water technologies include those using waves, tides, and currents as well as traditional hydropower using water released through a dam. Utilities must provide net metering customers with electric service at nondiscriminatory rates that are identical to those that would be charged if the customer were not participating in net metering.

Net metering billing practices are split into two distinct categories. All qualifying customer generators up to 20 kilowatts (kW) are eligible for "true" net metering, while most systems between 20 kW and 150 kW are eligible for "modified" net metering. Methane digesters up to 550 kW are eligible for net metering -- either "true" net metering or "modified" net metering depending on their size. True net metering is available until the aggregate net metered capacity reaches 0.5% of a utility's peak load. Modified net metering is available until the aggregate net-metered capacity reaches an additional 0.25% of a utility's peak load for systems of 150 kW or less and 0.25% for systems larger than 150 kW. In general, the capacity of an individual system is limited to that which will meet their own needs. The rules describe several options a customer can use to arrive at this value.

For systems of 20 kW or less, net excess generation (NEG) during a billing period may be carried forward to the next billing period at the retail rate. Modified net metering (facilities up to 150 kW) allows NEG carry over at the power supply component of the retail rate (i.e., presumably a rate resembling avoided cost) each billing period. Customers on time-of-use rates may carry forward NEG at the applicable retail rate for each time-of-use pricing period within a billing period. The legislation does not define an annual true-up or account reconciliation period, meaning that NEG can be carried forward indefinitely. Credits associated with modified net metering may not be applied against distribution charges. Systems larger than 150 kW must pay standby charges that effectively charge the customer the retail distribution rate for all energy produced and used on-site. This practice does not meet the definition of net metering as it is generally understood, thus this summary considers only systems up to 150 kW as eligible for net metering.

Customer generators own the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with electricity generated under the program. Net metering application fees may not exceed $25 and the combined total of net metering application and interconnection review fees may not exceed $100. Utilities serving more than 1 million customers (i.e., Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison) are required, if necessary, to supply true net metering customers with a net metering compatible meter or meters at no cost to the customer. Utilities with fewer than 1 million customers must supply the appropriate meter or meters to the customer at cost, not to exceed the incremental cost above that for meters provided by the utility to similarly situated non-net metering customers. Metering configurations and cost allocations for modified net metering customers are slightly different (see R 460.648 for details).

Finally, P.A. 295 also required the development of statewide uniform interconnection standards for eligible electric generators. Interconnection standards for systems up to 2 MW were adopted by the PSC as part of the same administrative proceeding that addressed net metering.

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 here. Categories 3-5 will be addressed in a future order.

History In March 2005, the PSC approved a consensus agreement that implemented a voluntary statewide net-metering program for a minimum of five years. Under the agreement, systems generating electricity using solar, wind, geothermal, biomass (including waste-to-energy and landfill gas) or hydropower were eligible. The maximum size of electric generators eligible for net metering was "less than" 30 kilowatts (kW), unless a utility voluntarily set its limit at less than 150 kW (to match size categories established by the state's interconnection rules). However, utilities were permitted to use a variety of billing options under the consensus agreement, and most utilities' billing practices did not actually constitute "true" net metering. Not surprisingly, this led to a low participation level.

The following utilities participated in the consensus program: Detroit Edison (DTE Energy), Northern States Power Company (Xcel Energy), Indiana Michigan Power (AEP), We Energies, Consumers Energy, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, Alger Delta CEA, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Cloverland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy, Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association, Presque Isle Electric and Gas Cooperative, Thumb Electric Cooperative, Upper Peninsula Power Company, and Alpena Power Company.
Nonrefundable Business Activity Tax Credit (Michigan) Michigan Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory Note: Public Act 38 of 2011 repealed the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) and implemented the Corporate Income Tax (CIT). Public Act 39 was passed in conjunction with the CIT and allows for certain credits awarded under the MBT to be retained for the duration of the agreements. Businesses receiving certain credits, including Renaissance Zone credits, may choose to either continue to file under the MBT to continue claiming their credits, or file under the CIT. Certain Renaissance Zone credits will not be awarded after 2011; Michigan can still award Renewable Energy Renaissance Zone Credits.


Businesses engaged in alternative energy research, development, and manufacturing may claim a nonrefundable credit from the Michigan business tax. In order to be eligible for this tax credit, the taxpayer and its qualified business activity must be certified by the Michigan Next Energy Authority. The credit is equal to the lesser of (1) the amount by which a business's "tax liability attributable to qualified business activity" for the tax year exceeds the business's "baseline tax liability attributable to qualified business activity," or (2) 10% of the amount by which the business's "adjusted qualified business activity" performed in Michigan, outside of a "Renaissance Zone," for a tax year exceeds such activity for the 2001 tax year under former MCL § 208.39e.

Under either formula, a business may not claim the credit for any tax year in which its "tax liability attributable to qualified business activity" did not exceed the "baseline tax liability attributable to qualified business activity" in 2001. These credits initially took effect beginning in 2003 and were scheduled to expire at the end of 2007 with the repeal of MCL § 208.39e. In 2007 however, they were renewed without substantive alteration as part of a larger reworking of state business taxing policy. Qualified business activity is defined broadly to include research, development, or manufacturing of an alternative energy marine propulsion system, an alternative energy system, an alternative energy vehicle, alternative energy technology, or renewable fuel.

The NextEnergy Authority legislation was amended in 2006 by SB 583, which expanded the definitions relating to alternative energy technologies. Eligible alternative energy technologies include: fuel cells, PV, biomass, solar thermal heating and cooling, wind energy, CHP, microturbines, miniturbines, Stirling engines, electricity storage systems, and clean fuel energy systems powered by methane, natural gas, methanol, ethanol, or hydrogen. See MCL § 207.822 for a complete listing of eligible technologies.

Separately, the Michigan Strategic Fund designated the Michigan NextEnergy Zone as a Renaissance Zone in 2002. The Renaissance Zone designation means that businesses within the NextEnergy Zone may be eligible for other tax benefits. The NextEnergy Zone is located in Detroit at Wayne State University Research and Technology Park. It is home to the NextEnergy Center, which includes laboratory facilities, business incubator space, and other facilities to support Michigan’s alternative energy industry.

NextEnergy is a comprehensive economic-development plan to position Michigan as a world leader in the research, development, commercialization and manufacture of alternative-energy technologies. NextEnergy was created to address the risks of continued dependence on foreign energy resources, to mitigate increasing environmental concerns, and to prepare for the possibility of technologies that may replace the internal combustion engine. Please contact the NextEnergy Center for more information on these activities.
PJM Interconnection (Multiple States) Delaware
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Maryland
Michigan
New Jersey
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia
District of Columbia
Interconnection Yes Non-Profit PJM (originally Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland) Interconnection is a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The PJM region has an area of 214,000 square miles, a population of about 60 million and a peak demand of 163,848 megawatts.
Permits to Install,New Source Review (PTI,NSR) (Michigan) Michigan Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province Rule 201 of the Michigan Air Pollution Control Rules requires a person to obtain an approved Permit to Install for any potential source of air pollution unless the source is exempt from the permitting process.
Pure Michigan Venture Match Fund (Michigan) Michigan Grant Program Yes State/Province This program is currently not accepting applications. The last application period ended on February 28, 2013. The Pure Michigan Venture Match Fund provides early stage innovative businesses that have recently received an equity investment commitment from a qualified venture fund for commercialization and growth with a project match. Qualified investments may be matched up to 50% (or $500,000).
Qualifying RPS State Export Markets (Michigan) Michigan Renewables Portfolio Standards and Goals Yes State/Province This entry lists the states with Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies that accept generation located in Michigan as eligible sources towards their RPS targets or goals. For specific information with regard to eligible technologies or other restrictions which may vary by state, see the RPS policy entries for the individual states, shown below in the Authority listings. Typically energy must be delivered to an in-state utility or Load Serving Entity, and often only a portion of compliance targets may be met by out-of-state generation. In addition to geographic and energy delivery requirements, ownership, registry, and other requirements may apply, such as resource eligibility, generator vintage and capacity limitations, as well as limits on Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) vintage. The listing applies to RPS Main Tiers only, and excludes solar or distributed generation that may require interconnection only within the RPS state. This assessment is based on energy delivery requirements and reasonable transmission availability. Acceptance of unbundled RECs varies. There may be additional sales opportunities in RPS states outside the Eastern Interconnection. REC prices in markets with voluntary goals (North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia) may be lower.
Refundable Payroll Tax Credit (Michigan) Michigan Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory Note: '''Public Act 38 of 2011 repealed the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) and implemented the Corporate Income Tax (CIT). Public Act 39''' was passed in conjunction with the CIT and allows for certain credits awarded under the MBT to be retained for the duration of the agreements. Businesses receiving certain credits, including Renaissance Zone credits, may choose to either continue to file under the MBT to continue claiming their credits, or file under the CIT. No additional Renaissance Zone credits will be awarded after 2011.


Businesses certified by the NextEnergy Authority that locate in the NextEnergy Zone to research, develop, or manufacture "alternative energy technologies," as defined by the Michigan Next Energy Authority Act, may claim a credit equal to their qualified payroll amount multiplied by their income tax rate for that year. In order for an employee's compensation to qualify for this treatment, the employee must work on alternative energy-related research, development or manufacturing and have a regular place of employment within the NextEnergy Zone. If the credit exceeds the tax liability of the business for the tax year, the portion of the credit exceeding the tax liability will be refunded. This credit initially took effect beginning in 2003 and was scheduled to expire at the end of 2007 with the repeal of MCL § 208.39e. In 2007 however, it was renewed as part of a larger reworking of state business taxing policy.

The NextEnergy Authority legislation was amended in 2006 by SB 583, which expanded the definitions relating to alternative energy technologies. Eligible alternative energy technologies include: fuel cells, PV, biomass, solar thermal heating and cooling, wind energy, CHP, microturbines, miniturbines, Stirling engines, electricity storage systems, and clean fuel energy systems powered by methane, natural gas, methanol, ethanol, or hydrogen. See MCL § 207.822 for a complete listing of eligible technologies.

NextEnergy is a comprehensive economic-development plan to position Michigan as a world leader in the research, development, commercialization and manufacture of alternative-energy technologies. NextEnergy was created to address the risks of continued dependence on foreign energy resources, to mitigate increasing environmental concerns, and to prepare for the possibility of technologies that may replace the internal combustion engine.

The Michigan Strategic Fund designated the NextEnergy Zone a Renaissance Zone in 2002. Businesses located within this zone may also be eligible for additional tax benefits. Contact the NextEnergy Center for more information. The NextEnergy Zone, located in Detroit at Wayne State University Research and Technology Park, is home of the 40,000-square-foot NextEnergy Center. The center includes laboratory facilities, business incubator space, collaborative meeting space and other facilities that will support Michigan’s alternative-energy industry.
Refundable Photovoltaic Manufacturing Tax Credit (Michigan) Michigan Industry Recruitment/Support No State/Territory Note: Public Act 38 of 2011 repealed the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) and implemented the Corporate Income Tax (CIT). Public Act 39 was passed in conjunction with the CIT and allows for credits awarded under the MBT to be retained for the duration of the agreements. Businesses receiving certain credits, including MEGA credits, may choose to either continue to file under the MBT to continue claiming their credits, or file under the CIT. No additional MEGA credits will be awarded after 2011.

In September 2008, Michigan enacted legislation allowing businesses engaged in the development and manufacturing of photovoltaic (PV) energy, PV systems or other PV technologies to claim a tax credit against the Michigan Business Tax. The law was amended in 2009 to expand the availability of tax credits and extend a prior deadline associated with claiming the incentive. The law now allows an eligible taxpayer or a qualified taxpayer that constructs a qualifying PV manufacturing facility to claim a credit against the Michigan Business Tax, equal to 25% of the capital investment made in the new facility during the tax year, up to $15 million. In order to qualify for the tax credit, the business must enter into an agreement with the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) by December 31, 2011 to build a qualifying facility. The MEGA is permitted to enter into an agreement with one eligible taxpayer for a tax credit of greater than $15 million but not more than $25 million.

The total amount of tax credits allowed is limited to $75 million. The definitions of eligible taxpayer and qualified taxpayer are distinct, and contain different qualifying criteria related to capital investment and job creation. As highlighted above, this has ramifications for determining the maximum amount of the tax credit that might be claimed. A qualified taxpayer must enter an agreement with the MEGA to create at least 500 new jobs and make a minimum capital investment of $50 million, of which $25 million must take place prior to the issuance of a tax credit certificate. An eligible taxpayer must enter an agreement with the MEGA to create at least 250 qualified new jobs and make a minimum capital investment of $100 million, of which $25 million must take prior to the issuance of a tax credit certificate. The tax credit may generally be taken over two years in equal installments, although the MEGA may enter into one agreement that allows a taxpayer to take the full $15 million tax credit in the same year in which a tax credit certificate is issued. Credits that exceed the taxpayer's tax liability for a given year are refundable.

Originally, this credit allowed a business that made a capital investment in a qualified facility of at least $50 million and with the expectation of creating at least 700 new jobs to claim a tax credit of 50% of the capital costs associated with building the facility up to $25 million. However, a business was required to enter into an agreement to build such a facility with the Michigan Economic Growth Authority by November 1, 2008. Thus, it appears that the law was originally intended as an incentive for a specific manufacturer that had already expressed interest in building a PV manufacturing facility.
Renewable Energy Program Grants (Michigan) Michigan State Grant Program Yes State/Territory Note: Specific funding opportunities may change from year to year depending on the focus area for that year.


The Michigan Economic Development Corporation's (MEDC) Michigan Energy Office provides funding for renewable energy activities on a recurring basis, subject to availability of funds. Eligible projects may include activities such as providing education/outreach and technical assistance to communities and businesses on renewable energy topics, feasibility studies, demonstrations of commercially available renewable energy technologies, and/or other activities that promote renewable energy as a tool for economic development in the state. Grant award amounts vary according to each individual solicitation.


Those interested in participating should contact Tania Howard at the MEDC’s Michigan Energy Office for additional grant and application details
Renewable Energy Renaissance Zones (Michigan) Michigan Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory In 2006, Michigan enacted legislation allowing for the creation of Renewable Energy Renaissance Zones (RERZ). Renaissance zones offer significant tax benefits to facilities located within their boundaries. Facilities within a renaissance zone do not pay the Michigan Business Tax*, state education tax, personal and real property taxes, or local income taxes (where applicable). These taxes may be abated for up to 15 years, with the abatements being phased out in 25% increments over the last three years of the zone designation. For residents of renaissance zones designated before 2012, taxpayers are exempt from paying certain income taxes, if they have been a resident of the renaissance zone for 183 consecutive days.

For the purposes of renaissance zone designation, “renewable energy facility” means a facility that creates energy, fuels, or chemicals directly from the wind, the sun, trees, grasses, biosolids, algae, agricultural commodities, processed products from agricultural commodities, or residues from agricultural processes, wood or forest processes, food production and processing, or the paper products industry. Renewable energy facility also includes a facility that creates energy, fuels, or chemicals from solid biomass, animal wastes, or landfill gases. Renewable energy facility also includes a facility that focuses on research, development, or manufacturing of systems or components of systems used to create energy, fuel, or chemicals from the items described in this subdivision. Renewable energy facility also includes a facility that focuses on research, development, or manufacturing of systems or components of systems that involve the conversion of chemical energy for advanced battery technology.

The original law allowed for the designation of up to 10 RERZs, but a 2008 amendment expanded the number to 15 and added a requirement that at least 5 of the zones focus primarily on the production of cellulosic biofuels. In order to have an area designated as an RERZ, a county or community must submit an application to the Michigan Strategic Fund Board (MSF). Renaissance zone designations are approved by the Michigan State Administrative Board based upon recommendations from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF). Evaluations will be made based on local economic impacts, job creation, project viability, and other relevant criteria. Renaissance zones must be one distinct, continuous geographic area and must be supported by a tax abatement resolution from the city, village, or township in which the facility is located.

Interested communities and businesses are encouraged to contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to discuss potential projects in detail.


* Public Act 38 of 2011 repealed the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) and implemented the Corporate Income Tax (CIT). Public Act 39 was passed in conjunction with the CIT and allows for credits awarded under the MBT to be retained for the duration of the agreements. Businesses receiving certain credits, including Renaissance Zone credits, may choose to either continue to file under the MBT to continue claiming their credits, or file under the CIT.
Renewable Energy Standard (Michigan) Michigan Renewables Portfolio Standard Yes State/Territory Note: The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) created a temporary order (U-15800) in December of 2008 to address implementation issues for renewable energy and energy optimization plans arising from the passage of PA 295. In March of 2010 the MPSC was granted informal approval of its RPS governing rules by the Michigan State Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules (SOAHR) and the Legislative Service Bureau (LSB). Per Docket U-15900, the draft administrative rules were submitted for public comment at a hearing in June of 2010, with the comment period closing in July of 2010. As of November 2011, the MPSC is in the process of finalizing the administrative rules governing the renewable energy and energy optimization standards.

In October 2008, Michigan enacted the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act, Public Act 295, requiring the state's investor-owned utilities, alternative retail suppliers, electric cooperatives and municipal electric utilities to generate 10% of their retail electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2015. In addition to renewables, the standard allows utilities to use energy optimization (energy efficiency) and advanced cleaner energy systems to meet a limited portion of the requirement. The state's two largest investor-owned utilities, Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy, have additional obligations beyond those of other utilities.

Eligible RPS Technologies
Renewables
Under the standard, eligible renewables include biomass, solar and solar thermal, wind, geothermal, municipal solid waste (MSW)*, landfill gas, existing traditional hydroelectric (i.e., water passed through a dam), tidal, wave, and water current (e.g., run of river hydroelectric) resources. Biomass is broadly defined as organic matter that is not derived from fossil fuels and which replenishes over a human time frame (see Public Act 295 for additional details). New hydroelectric facilities that require new dam construction are not considered an eligible resource, although repairs, replacements, and upgrades of existing dams may be counted towards compliance.

Energy Optimization and Efficiency
The definition of energy optimization is synonymous with what is generally defined as energy efficiency. In order to be counted under the standard, energy efficiency measures must reduce customer consumption of energy, electricity, or natural gas. This includes both changes in equipment and changes in customer behavior directly attributable to an energy efficiency program or energy optimization plan. It does not include utility infrastructure projects that are approved for cost recovery (e.g., transmission or generation facility upgrades). Advanced cleaner energy facilities are loosely defined as electric generating facilities using a technology that is not in commercial operation as of the date of the act's effective date, but gasification, industrial cogeneration, and coal-fired facilities that capture and sequester (CCS) 85% of carbon dioxide emissions are specifically identified as eligible technologies.

RPS Compliance
Annual Obligations
The compliance period for the standard begins in 2012. Each utility has a unique annual obligation based on its existing renewable energy portfolio, the amount of energy that would be required to meet the ultimate 10% target during a compliance year, and the applicable percentage obligation for that year. The annual benchmarks are as follows:

  • 2012: Existing renewable energy baseline plus 20% of the gap between baseline and 10%
  • 2013: Existing renewable energy baseline plus 33% of the gap between baseline and 10%
  • 2014: Existing renewable energy baseline plus 50% of the gap between baseline and 10%
  • 100% of total obligation in 2015 A utility is obligated to close the gap between the baseline and 10% according to an increasing percentage (e.g., 20% in 2012) of the ultimate 10% goal each year from 2012-2015.

The existing renewable energy portfolio is determined by the amount of qualifying electricity produced or obtained by an electric provider during the one-year period preceding the effective date of the act (October 6, 2008). The existing portfolio also includes certain renewable electricity production associated with PURPA qualifying facilities (QFs)** during the same time period. For the purpose of determining the 10% target for a given year, a utility may calculate total retail sales using average retail sales during the previous three years or using weather-normalized sales from the previous year.

After the law was enacted, all utilities were required to file a proposed plan for meeting the renewable energy standard. The MPSC reviews these plans every 2 years. Each utility's plan can be found here.

Large Utilities
In addition to the percentage-based energy requirements, a utility with more than 1 million retail customers as of January 1, 2008, (i.e., Consumers Energy) must meet a renewable energy capacity standard of 200 MW by December 31, 2013, and 500 MW by December 31, 2015. A utility with more than 2 million retail customers as of January 1, 2008, (i.e., Detroit Edison) must meet a renewable energy capacity standard of 300 MW by December 31, 2013, and 600 MW by December 31, 2015. Energy production from these new renewable energy facilities can be counted towards the percentage-based component of the standard. An additional provision of the law places certain limitations on utility ownership of renewable energy facilities used to comply with the renewable energy standard.

Energy Credits
Compliance with the percentage standard can be met by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) with or without the associated renewable energy. Up to 50% of the standard may be met with RECs produced by utility-owned facilities. The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) was tasked with establishing a REC certification and tracking program, which was unveiled in August 2009 (Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System). Generally, RECs may be obtained from in state facilities or from out of state facilities located within the retail electric service territory of a utility (or subsequent expansions) as recognized by the PSC. Alternative electric suppliers are generally not permitted to meet the standard using out of state resources. However, a variety of exceptions exist to these general eligibility criteria, relating primarily to existing power purchase agreements with out of state facilities. A REC has a lifetime of three years from the end of the month it was generated. RECs generated within 120 days of the start of a calendar year may be used to satisfy the previous year's obligation.

Utilities may substitute energy optimization credits (EOCs) or advanced cleaner energy credits (ACECs) for renewable energy credits with approval of the PSC, although approval is not required for ACECs generated using industrial cogeneration. No more than 10% of a utility's obligation may be met using a combination of both types of credits, and no more than 70% of the 10% limit may be met using advanced energy systems in existence on or before January 1, 2008. EOCs may be substituted at a 1:1 ratio to RECs, while most ACECs are substituted at a ratio of 10 ACECs:1 REC. Exceptions to this are industrial cogeneration and plasma arc gasification, which are credited at a 1:1 ratio.

Bonus Credits

The standard also contains a series of bonus credits, termed Michigan incentive renewable energy credits, for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated by certain types of systems. These credits act in addition to the single credit that a facility receives for producing 1 MWh of electricity from a qualified resource. Thus it is possible to earn multiple credit bonuses on a single MWh of electricity generation. The bonuses are described below.
  • Electricity produced using solar power receives an additional 2 credits per MWh.
  • Renewable electricity produced at peak demand times by technologies other than wind receives an additional 1/5 credit per MWh. Peak demand time was defined by the PSC in a December 2008 temporary order as weekdays between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, excepting certain holidays.
  • Off-peak renewable electricity generation stored using advanced electric storage technology or hydroelectric pumped storage and used during peak demand times receives an additional 1/5 credit per MWh. The credit is calculated based on the initial amount of electricity used to charge the storage device, not the amount that is discharged.
  • Renewable electricity produced using equipment manufactured within the state of Michigan receives an additional 1/10 credit per MWh. This add-on is only available for three years after the in-service date of the facility.
  • Renewable electricity produced using a system which was constructed using an in-state workforce receives an additional 1/10 credit per MWh. This add-on is only available for three years after the in-service date of the facility.

Utilities and alternative suppliers are required to submit plans for complying with the standard to the PSC (details vary by utility type). They are permitted to recover their compliance costs through an itemized charge beginning 90 days after the PSC approves their renewable energy plan. Rate impact cost ceilings have been set at $3.00 per month for residential customers, $16.58 per month for secondary commercial customers and $187.50 per month for primary commercial and industrial customers. The program website has information on the plans filed by Michigan utilities.

Reporting
Public Act 295 also included annual reporting requirements for the PSC, including information on the status of renewable and clean energy in the state, the effects of the standard on electricity prices, the cost effectiveness of the standard, and the effect on employment in the standard. The reports are due annually by February 15. The 2013 report is available here.

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
The law contains an energy optimization standard that applies to both natural gas and electric utilities. The electricity optimization standard requires incremental savings during 2008 and 2009 equivalent to 0.3% of 2007 retail sales, accelerating to 1.0% of previous year's retail sales in 2012 and thereafter, subject to certain exceptions. The gas optimization standard requires incremental savings during 2008 and 2009 of 0.1% of 2007 retail sales, accelerating to 0.75% of previous year's sales in 2012 and thereafter, subject to certain exceptions. As with the renewable energy standard, limited use of RECs and ACECs is permitted for compliance with the energy optimization standard. More information regarding this standard can be found here.

*In reviewing Detroit Edison's renewable energy plan, the PSC determined that scrap tires do not qualify as municipal solid waste, but that the utility could request ACECs for energy produced using scrap tires.

**The renewable energy standard addresses ownership rights of renewable energy credits (RECs) produced by PURPA QFs. In synopsis, the law upholds PURPA contracts that address REC ownership as they are written, while it specifies REC ownership in situations where REC ownership is addressed as part of a separate contract or is not addressed at all. The existing component of a utility's renewable portfolio includes RECs it would have had title to under the new law had it existed during the time period for which the existing renewable baseline is calculated.


*In reviewing Detroit Edison's renewable energy plan, the PSC determined that scrap tires do not qualify as municipal solid waste, but that the utility could request ACECs for energy produced using scrap tires.a separate contract or is not addressed at all. The existing component of a utility's renewable portfolio includes RECs it would have had title to under the new law had it existed during the time period for which the existing renewable baseline is calculated.
Small Business Clean Air Assistance (Michigan) Michigan Training/Technical Assistance Yes State/Province The program shall develop adequate mechanisms for all of the following:

(a) Developing, collecting, and coordinating information on compliance methods and technologies for small businesses. (b) Encouraging lawful cooperation among small businesses and other persons to further compliance with the clean air act. (c) Assisting small business with information regarding pollution prevention and accidental release detection and prevention, including, but not limited to, providing information concerning alternative technologies, process changes, and products and methods of operation that help reduce air pollution. (d) Establishing a compliance assistance program that assists small businesses in determining applicable requirements for compliance and the procedures for obtaining permits efficiently in a timely manner. (e) Providing mechanisms and access to information so that small businesses receive notification of their rights in a manner and form that assures reasonably adequate time for small businesses to evaluate their compliance methods or applicable proposed or final rules or standards under the clean air act. (f) Informing small businesses of their obligations under the clean air act, including mechanisms for referring small businesses to qualified auditors or to the state if the state elects to provide audits to determine compliance with the clean air act. To the extent permissible by state and federal law, audits shall be separate from the formal inspection and compliance program.

(g) Providing information on how to obtain consideration from the department on requests from small businesses for modifications of any work practice, technological method of compliance, or the schedule of milestones for reductions of emissions preceding an applicable compliance date.
Solid Waste Management (Michigan) Michigan Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province This Act encourages the Department of Environmental Quality and Health Department representatives to develop and encourage methods for disposing solid waste that are environmentally sound, that maximize the utilization of valuable resources, and that encourage resource conservation including source reduction and source separation. It is the Department's responsibility to certify, collect reports and issue permits to solid waste processors.
Standards for Protection Against Radiation (Michigan) Michigan Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province This rule establishes standards for protection against radiation hazards. In addition to complying with requirements set forth, every reasonable effort should be made to maintain radiation levels in unrestricted areas and releases of radioactive materials in effluents to unrestricted areas, as far below the limits specified in this rule as practicable. The article states permissible levels and concentrations of radioactive material for air and water above ground. It also lists instructions for workers, details about inspections by the department and precautionary procedures for handling radioactive material and hazardous waste.
Strategic Growth Initiative (Michigan) Michigan Grant Program Yes State/Province A joint venture between Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the Strategic Growth Initiative Grant Program was designed to leverage business development and growth for the state's $91.4 billion food and agriculture industry. The grant program aims to remove barriers inhibiting growth in the state's food and agriculture industry, fostering economic opportunities for Michigan-based food processors, agribusiness and those involved in agricultural production.

The initiative stems from Gov. Rick Snyder's 2011 summit on production agriculture, and recommendations from a legislative committee tasked with fostering growth in farm processing. At that time the governor announced his goal of seeing the sector's annual economic impact grow beyond the $100 billion mark.

To achieve that goal, more than 30 farm commodity organizations, processor groups and MFB collaborated in designing the Strategic Growth Initiative to maximize industry expansion, create jobs and explore new processing opportunities. MDARD and MEDC will coordinate and cooperate with universities and research organizations to bring the latest technology and information to improve Michigan's food and farm sector.

Grant applications will be evaluated through a competitive scoring process. Applicants will be asked to describe how their project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the food and agriculture industry and/or the public—rather than a single organization, institution or individual. Applications must be received by 3 p.m. Oct. 2, 2013.
Water Pollution Control Facilities, Tax exemption (Michigan) Michigan Property Tax Incentive Yes State/Province The Water Pollution Control Exemption, PA 451 of 1994, Part 37, as amended, affords a 100% property and sales tax exemption to facilities that are designed and operated primarily for the control, capture and removal of industrial waste from the water. After review by the Property Services Division and the Department of Environmental Quality, a recommendation is made to the State Tax Commission (STC) regarding the qualification of the application. The STC is responsible for final approval and issuance of certificates. Exemptions are not effective until approved by the STC.
Groundwater Discharge and Water Resources Protection (Michigan) Michigan Fees
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province The Groundwater Program regulates discharge to groundwater under Part 31, Water Resources Protection, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451 and Part 22 Rules. Groundwater staff review applications for authorizations to discharge wastes and wastewaters to the ground or groundwaters of the state. Authorizations include permits, self-certifications, and exemptions. Upon completion of an application review, staff make recommendations leading to the determination of appropriate action including issuance or denial of an authorization to discharge.
Water Use Permitting (Wisconsin) Wisconsin Siting and Permitting Yes Local Withdrawers in the Great Lakes Basin who withdraw water in quantities that average 100,000 gallons per day or more in any 30-day period are required to get a water use permit. Two types of water use permits exist: a general permit is required for withdrawals that average 100,000 gallons per day or more in any 30-day period but do not equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 consecutive days. An individual permit is required for withdrawals that equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 consecutive days. There are no permit application fees.