DTE Energy - Solar Currents Program

March 15, 2017


Note: The Solar Currents program has fulfilled phase two of the pilot program of additional 2 megawatts of customer-owned solar projects by 2015, and is no longer accepting applications. 

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.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Utility
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Michigan
Incentive Type: Rebate Program
Web Site: https://www2.dteenergy.com/wps/portal/dte/residential/productsPrograms/details/SolarCurrents/
Administrator: DTE Energy
Start Date: 2009
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
Incentive Amount: Residential Rebate: $0.20/W
Residential Production Incentive: $0.03/kWh
Non-Residential Rebate: $0.13/W
Non-Residential Production Incentive: $0.02/kWh
Eligible System Size: 1 kW - 20 kW DC per site; systems must generally be sized not to exceed on-site energy needs
Equipment Requirements: PV modules must be CEC listed; inverters must be approved by DTE (UL 1741 and IEEE 1547.1 approved inverters may also qualify upon review by DTE engineers); all installations require a generation meter
Installation Requirements: Systems must be grid-tied and net metered; installations must meet all applicable federal, state, local, and manufacturer's codes and standards and be installed in accordance with DTE Interconnection Guidelines.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: DTE Energy


Name: Program Information - Solar Currents
Organization: Detroit Edison Company
Address: One Energy Plaza, 530 GO
Detroit MI 48226
Phone: (313) 235-4786
Email: solarcurrents@detroitedison.com

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.