Newsletter: MPSC Adopts Inflow/Outflow DG Tariff

This solar newsletter was originally published on April 20, 2018.

MPSC Adopts Inflow/Outflow DG Tariff

On Wednesday, the Michigan Public Service Commission adopted a DG tariff that will eventually replace net metering.

The Commission approved the staff’s proposal of an “Inflow/Outflow” billing mechanism, which would determine a customer’s bill on the basis of the inflow, or energy the customer drew from the grid and outflow, or energy customer sent to the grid. The staff’s proposed mechanism uses the full retail rate for inflow value and the utility’s avoided cost for outflow value. The Commission is requiring that each utility file a DG tariff using this mechanism in rate cases submitted after June 1, 2018. However, each utility will also be allowed to file its own proposed tariff. This could create a patchwork of DG tariffs across the state’s utility territories.

Michigan EIBC has been engaged as a stakeholder in this process during the development of the 2016 legislation and over the last year at the MPSC. Along with several EIBC member companies, we argued against many aspects of the staff proposal in comments. Michigan EIBC consistently emphasized that the Commission needed to complete a more robust cost of service study based on data from all customer classes.

What this means for the industry is still uncertain. The Commission ordered that customers enrolled in net metering before a utility’s final DG tariff is approved in a rate cases filed after June 1, 2018 will remain in the net metering program for 10 years. The Commission also clarified that an “enrolled” customer is one who has submitted a complete application to a utility.


Solar Newsclips

In Michigan
From Washington
  • Solar installations between 2018 and 2022 are predicted to be 13% lower than original estimates due to new tariffs on imported solar modules and  changes in federal tax laws.
  • Solar panel manufacturers had until March 16 to apply for exemptions from new solar import tariffs that went into effect in February. The CEO of SunPower says the company will lay off workers and forego investments in U.S. solar manufacturing if the Trump administration doesn’t grant it an exemption from import tariffs. At the same time, Chinese solar manufacturer JinkoSolar could win incentives to build the first U.S. panel plant since Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar modules.
  • The U.S. refused a request to compensate the European Union for tariffs on imported solar modules, opening the door for retaliatory measures.
  • Some advanced energy advocates are worried that FERC may use the minimum offer price rule to gut state-supported solar in their decision to approve ISO New England’s new market pricing proposal.
  • The DOE has been steadily chipping away at the agency’s “SunShot Initiative” program. However, the Department will offer $105 million in funding for about 70 solar research and development projects.
Across the Country


Events to Watch:

EUCI invites you to the Utility-Scale Solar Power Plant Fundamentals conference on April 18 – 19 in Portland, Oregon. Register here.

You’re invited to a Michigan Energy Workshop on Wednesday, April 25 from 9am to 12:00pm at the Governmental Center Training Room in Traverse City. This workshop is hosted by the City of Traverse City and SEEDS. Learn more and register here.

Michigan EIBC’s 6th Annual Member Meeting is scheduled for April 30 in Lansing. Mark your calendars, and register here to reserve your spot at the Annual Member Meeting today.

Join solar & clean energy experts at the 5th annual Midwest Solar Expo & Smart Energy Symposium, April 30-May 2 in Minneapolis, MN. Exhibition, networking, solar farm visit, startup showcase, training, more. Register today!

Michigan EIBC’s Lobby Day is May 1 in Lansing. Register here!

Join Greentech Media for the 11th Solar Summit on May 1-2. Get 15% off with code ENN15.

You’re invited to present, advertise, exhibit, or sponsor at The Energy Fair, June 15-17 in Custer, Wisconsin. Learn more and register here.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) invite you to Solar Power International, September 24-27, in Anaheim, California. Registration opens in spring of 2018 here.