Wednesday, September 30, 2009

EARP update

I recieved an email today with the EARP Update. Here is what they had to say.

Consumers Energy has begun reviewing applications for the Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). The company has seen significant interest in the program, receiving applications for capacity beyond the 2,000 kilowatt (kW) program cap.

As of Sept. 22, Consumers Energy has approved applications for 24 EARP systems, with a total capacity of 875 kW. Approved applicants will begin receiving approval letters within the next few days. Additional applications will be approved as new EARP processes are fully tested.

Consumers Energy is extending the installation deadline for systems to qualify for the $0.45/kilowatt-hour (kWh) nonresidential rate. This is in response to concerns expressed by solar photovoltaic system installers and developers regarding longer lead times for equipment to construct large-scale solar PV systems.

For nonresidential systems, the $0.45 rate will be offered to systems that are installed by May 1, 2010, for approximately 750 kW of DC nameplate capacity. If a portion of a project’s capacity will exceed the 750 kW limit, that project will be offered the rate that corresponds to the largest proportion of the project capacity above or below the 750 kW limit.

For example, if all applications approved for the $0.45/kWh rate total 700 kW, and the next application is 75 kW, the majority (50 kW) falls below 750 kW and the entire project would qualify for the higher rate. However, if the applications approved for the higher nonresidential rate were to total 725 kW, a 75 kW project only would qualify for the lower rate.

If projects approved for the higher rate are cancelled or fail to maintain their qualification for the program, the higher rate could be extended to the next project in the queue provided that a majority of its capacity falls below the 750 kW threshold. Projects involving new solar PV equipment will be considered “installed” for the purposes of the program once all equipment has been installed and inspected by local code authorities. Existing solar PV systems that will be modified to participate in EARP will be offered a rate based on their position in the EARP queue.

At this time, no changes will be made to residential rate deadlines. We will continue with the current deadlines of Dec. 31, 2009, for the $0.65/kWh rate and Dec. 31, 2010, for the $0.525 rate.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Consumers Energy EARP update

I spoke with the person in charge of the EARP program yesterday and he said that the non-residential portion of the program is filled already. But the residential portion still has room for people to still get in. He said that it was filling up fast. So if you are ready to have some solar panels installed on your property you need call me in the next few days and lets get the application filled out and sent in before the $0.65 offer is over. (231) 715-1170

Friday, September 18, 2009

# 9 Wind Turbine is done

I just completed number 9 turbine today in Caro, MI. This is one that I installed last Fall and moved for the customer to his new house, less than 2 miles away. Since we had this unit down on the ground we took the existing extension off and replaced with an extension that was 4' longer. Which increased his overall height to 66' making it the tallest tower to date that I have installed. I will post a picture when I get back to Traverse City later this weekend.

My next turbine is going in the Vassar area. We started the foundation last week but ran into the water table. So that was the end of that job until we came up with another plan. I contracted my engineer to design me a matte foundation. We have that new design and will post pictures when we get it done maybe later next week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Verticle Axis why I say what I say about them.

I said a few weeks ago that I would not talk about vertical axis wind turbines anymore. But I have changed my mind, this is my blog and those that gave me grief in the past so be it. If you do not like it then do not read it. Life is full of choices and that is one of them, OTHERWISE READ ON AND TAKE IT FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH !!!!!

  1. I have nothing against the Windspire, this just happens to be the one I see and get asked about a lot, or any type of turbine like it. Except I feel from looking at what reports that are out there, like NERL on the Windspire, on how poorly they performed or failed. This is common knowledge available to the public. What am I to say, that is to bad, but I hope they try again and get it right the next time. Good Luck with that.
  2. Some person commented that how could I be against a Michigan company. I am not against them, I am for them. I think it is great that they are here creating jobs for Manistee and Michigan. Because when they are here that whole thing trickles right on down to everyone else. I want Michigan to be the light onto the world like it uses to be. We once were the state that everyone looked to for the answers. This state made everything, it was made to last and it did. Now where the hell did that go. Where has the pride gone in the products we make here in Michigan. It's not pride anymore it is just about the profits they can make off the consumer that knows no better. That is the problem I have. Lets make something that works and not just make something just to make money and get rich quick. Lets bring companies into this state that are going to make a product that can last the test of time. I have been by several of these products through out the area and almost everyone that I have seen is broken or falling off the top of the pole, especially the one right in front of Mastech where the Windspire is made. It has since been fixed, but why would you make something that would not last longer than a month or two. See what I am saying. What's wrong with this picture, I just don't get it. If these companies keep going down this road you may be here now, but sooner or later you can all kiss your ass goodbye too just like those before you and those jobs too.
  3. I have talked to several people about these types of turbines and they all say the same thing they will not work. When I first got into this line of business awhile back I looked at becoming a Pac-wind and wind terra dealer, because I had someone that wanted a Pac-wind. But when I contacted someone that I knew that was a Pac-wind dealer he said I will box it up and give it to you, because the thing never puts out enough power to light a 200watt light bulb. Here is a dealer saying the thing does not work and is willing to give it to me for free. So hmmm alert, alert why do I want to use these products again? I guess I don't. He also made another valid point if they are so great why do not they use them commercially. HMMMM!!! again good point. I have another friend that is an engineer and he also does wind studies for a living, so he studies various types of wind turbines and he tells me to stay away from these units they just will not produce the amount of power needed. These manufactures can manipulate their numbers any way that want to make to a product look good. I have blogged about other things in the past few months that companies, mail order catalogs, do to make their products look better to the consumer. Also the vertical companies are not the only ones that do this type of manipulation the horizontal companies do it too.
  4. Some guy, because he listed his name, from Manistee or somewhere I do not know said this is a poor way to promote the Skystream, one of the many typies that I have available as options to the customer. I am just putting out the facts. I will be the first to admit that the Skystream has had it's share of problems. If you want to know more about the problems, then here is a blog about the Skystream good and bad. The biggest problem with SWWP is their customer service, which for me has not been a big deal. But out of all the Skystreams I have installed two of them I have had to go back and fix. One of the units just stopped working and the second one, one of the blades had a crack in it. That is it!!! At least they we not wobbling at the top of the pole. But when I meet with a potential customer I am very up front about these issues that I have experienced. Are you that way with your customers Windspire dealers? They are machines and I understand they will brake, because they are machines. Nothing lasts forever, I do not care what type you use.
  5. Another person said it sounds like I am anger and full of venom. I am a type of person that believes in getting the best product to the customer and at the best price. I am not doing this just for a quick buck like some of these people out there are. I am about the experience of the process and wanting the customer to have a great experience with their product they buy, the installation, and the great service they will receive after the sale. So because there are companies running around out there selling stuff just to make a quick buck. That hurts everyone, including you too. And when that happens it PISSES ME RIGHT THE HELL OFF and I am going to do everything I can to get the word out. I will try and not base information just on my own feeling but on facts and seeing it for myself. So that person whoever you are, you should do the same thing before you go spouting your month off without getting the facts first. That's all.
Well I think I have said enough about this for now. I am sure I will have more to say in the near future. So anyone out there that would like to comment on this feel free to give me a shout. But keep in mind I am moderating this blog from know on. More so to keep people from back-linking to other sites trying to promote there services not to keep comments off.

I believe in doing the right thing even if others do not. In the end we will all pay for it.

Boy, I feel SOOOOOOOO much better now that I got that off my chest.

Solar question about the winter.

Someone submitted a question the other day about solar panels in the winter time.

"Will solar panels stay warm in the winter and self-clear ice and snow? Will I have to shovel (or use the roof rake) to keep 'em clear of snow?"

The answer is no and yes. If you receive a large quantity of snow over night the panels will have to be shoveled off or snow raked off. But you have to be careful when working around them because they can crack. If you only get a little snow over night then more in likely then that snow will melt right of the next morning. But none the less they have to be free of any snow or debris to work at the their full potential.

If anyone else has a question feel free to contact me with that question. Because the only dumb question is the one that does not get answered. Email me at

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In the next few weeks....

I am currently preparing a three part blog that I will be posting over the next few weeks in regards to renewable energy sources and their pros and cons.

The topics will include:

1. The pros and cons of wind turbines.
2. The pro and cons of solar energy.
3. Which is better for me in Michigan, wind or solar ?

So keep checking back over the next few days for when that first post will take place.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What can be run on 1 kilowatt of power?

Someone today was searching for an answer to a question on my web site. What can be run on a kilowatt of power?

The example I like to give a lot to people to explain what a kilowatt is, if you take a 100 watt light bulb and leave it on for 10 hours that is 1 kilowatt or 1 kilowatt hour.

I wrote about a kilowatts last month here is a link to that blog.

Lets take a look at what else we can run on 1 kilowatt, which by the way is a great question:

All these items are left on for a period of time, are equal to 1 kilowatt or 1000 watts.

Tower Computer - 150 watts, 6.67 hours
TV 25' - 150 watts, 6.67 hours
Coffee maker - 800 watts, 1.25 hours
Ceiling fan - 50 watts, 20 hours
Frost Free Freezer - 440 watts, 2.27 hours
Refrig/ Freezer 20cuin - 540 watts, 1.85 hours
60watt compact fluorescent bulb - 13 watts, 76.92 hours

So from the examples above you can see that you can run a lot on 1 kilowatt of power.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Consumers Energy EARP

I currently have a customer that is going ahead with this program. He is at the top of the list currently. He spoken with the people at CE the other day and they said they had a very limited number of people interested in this program. So if you are interested in doing this program lets talk asap, because we have less than 3 months to get it done and to take advantage of the $0.65 feed-in tariff. (231) 715-1170

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Detroit Edison Customers wanting solar for their homes.

Sept. 1, 2009

New Detroit Edison program will enable customers to cut the cost of installing solar energy

DETROIT – Detroit Edison has introduced a new program that will make installing a solar energy system 50 percent more affordable for homes and businesses.

Called SolarCurrents, the pilot program is intended to encourage Detroit Edison customers to purchase and install a solar energy system, and at the same time help the utility meet renewable energy targets contained in comprehensive energy legislation approved last year.

“SolarCurrents provides a significant financial incentive for Detroit Edison customers interested in installing a solar energy system on their home or business,” said Trevor F. Lauer, vice president of retail marketing for DTE Energy, parent company of Detroit Edison. “Customers will receive a payment when the system is installed, then will receive monthly payments over the next 20 years for the renewable energy credits associated with their solar system.”

Solar energy systems generate electricity through the use of photovoltaic (PV) technology, which turns the sun’s light energy into electricity. After passing through a component called an inverter, the direct current electricity generated by the solar panels is converted to alternating current – the type of electricity accessed through standard electric outlets.

A solar energy system for a typical 2,000 square foot home or business can cost about $18,000 to install. Under SolarCurrents, customers will receive a one-time payment when their system is installed. They then will receive monthly credits on their electric bill for the next 20 years for providing Detroit Edison with renewable energy credits associated with the system.

“When all is said and done, SolarCurrents can help reduce the cost of purchasing and installing a qualified solar energy system by 50 percent or more,” Lauer said.

Solar Currents was developed following passage of the Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act of 2008 – legislation that requires Michigan’s electric utilities to provide 10 percent of their electricity sales from renewable resources by 2015. Detroit Edison expects upwards of 1,500 customers to take part in the SolarCurrents program.

Detroit Edison also plans to introduce a second-phase of the SolarCurrents programs in which the company will place large-scale solar energy panels it owns on customer rooftops or property. In return, Detroit Edison will pay long term leasing or rental fees to the property owners. Further details on the next phase of the SolarCurrents program are expected in the coming months.

Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Information about DTE Energy is available at

For more information on SolarCurrents, visit, or call (313) 235-4SUN (4786).

So if this is something you have been wanting to for your home, then now is a good time to do it.

Give me a call and let's schedule an appointment to get quote for your home today. (231) 715-1170

-- Post From My iPhone