Solar Power in Michigan

Solar Power in Michigan” is the topic for the local Sierra Club program for Thursday, May 4, 2017. It’s free and open to the public; any interested person can attend. The location is the Elks Lodge, 2401 E. 4th St., Royal Oak, MI (at the corner of 4th St. & SB I-75 Service Drive, South of 11 Mile Rd.). From 6:30-7:00, snacks & socializing; announcements from 7:00-7:10; the presentation starts at 7:10.

This meeting will feature a three-person panel with deep practical experience of solar power in Michigan. The Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club is partnering with Michigan Solar Solutions, Solar Winds and McNaughton-McKay Electric Company to help Michigan Sierra Club members and supporters make their homes solar-powered! The partnership means these carefully vetted, qualified, residential solar-power installers and providers of the highest quality solar products can help move you into the clean energy column. Read more about this at

The questions this panel will address are: How has the election of Donald Trump and a Republican-majority Congress affected the business of solar in Michigan, and how is it likely to affect it in the future? How does this compare with the influence state and local governments have? And finally, what should we be doing to make installation of home solar easier?

Dave Leahy works at McNaughton-McKay Electric and brings to the panel expert knowledge of price and availability of solar panels, inverters and all the other components needed for a successful home or small business setup. Mark Hagerty represents Michigan Solar Solutions, which has some years of experience planning and executing solar installations. Mark Clevey is a member of the Ann Arbor Energy Commission and the founder of the Ann Arbor Solar Users Network. His particular interest is in how local registration and licensing can either help or unnecessarily hinder solar panel installations. Each panelist will make a 15-20 minute presentation, and then the floor will be open for questions from the audience.

The schematic below illustrates the simplest way to use solar panels on a home with net metering:

Basic Components for Net Metering of Solar

If you plan to provide your own energy storage for an application not connected to the electrical grid, it gets more complicated, but it is doable. Questions? Come to the meeting and ask our panel.


Author: Art Myatt

Retired engineer and environmentally aware activist with Green Party of Michigan, Sierra Club and Alliance to Halt Fermi 3.

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