DTE Community Solar Settlement: Concrete Benefits, Important Work Remains

Highlighting Soulardarity’s Perspective on Community Benefits and the Need for Program Expansion, Improvement

Michigan just took its first steps towards providing solar options and savings to families that cannot participate in rooftop solar programs. Today, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a settlement agreement between multiple stakeholders and DTE Electric Company regarding their Voluntary Green Pricing program. The agreement will lead to an exciting new pilot program that will create three community solar projects in Highland Park, Detroit, and River Rouge. Low-income subscribers to these projects will receive a monthly reduction on their energy bills from the solar savings.

This simple reality cannot be overstated: this settlement agreement would not have been possible without the persistent and ongoing energy justice work done by Soulardarity. For additional context, we’ll direct you to Soulardarity’s statement from when the settlement agreement was first made public. It speaks directly to how far we’ve come. More importantly, it paints an accurate picture of how much critical work remains to create pathways for genuine community ownership and scaled-up solutions.

We joined the settlement agreement to keep a close eye on program implementation and ensure that equity and energy justice were at the forefront of program design. At the same time, we’re committed to supporting our partners at Soulardarity in maintaining pressure on DTE and other stakeholders to live up to the full promise of community solar, a promise that would have been much more fully realized had their initial proposal been adopted. Both roles are necessary and together we can create robust opportunities to make and enact change. 

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