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In The Press

New fire code regulations include specifications for rooftop PV systems

Solar Professional magazine recently published a couple of articles detailing updated fire code regulations that take rooftop PV systems into account. Check out the article on commercial buildings here and the article on pitched-roof buildings here.

Holland BPW raises net metering limit for co-generation facilities to 550kW

The Holland, MI, Board of Public Works recently enacted a distributed generation program for customer-owned power generation, allowing them to connect to the BPW distribution system. Previously, the net metering limit was only 30kW, but the BPW has raised this limit to 550kW! More information is available in the Holland BPW Electric Rate Book.

What is a smart meter and how does renewable energy play into the need for smart grid meters?

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Muskegon Chamber of Commerce

Michigan’s climate isn’t perfect for producing solar-generated electricity, but federal incentives and a favorable rate by Consumers Energy have led to what will be a major solar panel installation at Torresen Marine. 

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New Poll Highlights Strong Support for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency in Michigan

A poll released by the newly-formed Michigan Conservative Energy Forum shows strong support for tripling Michigan’s commitment to renewable energy by 2035, as well as stronger state targets for energy efficiency. The poll found that 75% of Michigan voters support increasing Michigan’s renewable portfolio standard to 30% by 2035, something that Governor Snyder’s recent energy data gathering process showed was both technologically and financially feasible, and that three out of four voters prefer candidates who want "to promote more use of clean, renewable energy such as wind or solar power" over candidates who support more traditional energy sources such as coal. The poll also found that 84% of voters – including 74% of Republicans and 66% of self-identified Tea Party voters – favored more energy efficiency programs. The survey of 600 Michigan voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies from Dec. 9-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

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Muskegon Chamber of Commerce

Michigan’s climate isn’t perfect for producing solar-generated electricity, but federal incentives and a favorable rate by Consumers Energy have led to what will be a major solar panel installation at Torresen Marine. 

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Muskegon solar array will be Michigan's largest
Even though Michigan has a reputation for being cloudy and overcast, with 65 percent of days being sunny on average, it's prime real estate.
Absolute Michigan 

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Work begins on largest solar power project in Michigan
In Muskegon they're putting the sunshine to work.
WWTM News Channel 3

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Solar Company Lands Michigan Renewable Energy Project
South Bend-based Inovateus Solar says it is taking on the largest solar power project to date in the state of Michigan.
Inside INdiana Business

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Company Press Releases

West Michigan developer targets Opportunity Zones for solar projects

MUSKEGON — A West Michigan solar energy developer is pursuing new projects and job-training in low-income communities across the state that qualify for tax relief under recent federal tax reforms.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created qualified Opportunity Zones that allow investors to defer taxes on capital gains meant to spur development in low-income areas. While most projects involve real estate development, some developers across the U.S. are beginning to explore the potential for renewable energy in Opportunity Zones.

Rob Rafson, founder of Muskegon-based Chart House Energy LLC, says he has multiple projects lined up in these zones over the next two years.

A key component of his projects is job training for residents in low-income communities. He has $5 million of projects expected in 2019 and at least $15 million in 2020.

“We think this Opportunity Fund we’re developing is going to allow us to not just build solar in these communities, but create permanent jobs in these communities,” Rafson said.

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Energy developers unclear of role as Consumers plans major shift toward solar

Questions remain over the role for third-party developers planning billions of dollars in solar investment across the state. As the cost of solar continues to decline, companies see opportunity to develop utility-scale projects in Michigan under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA. Under the law, utilities are required to purchase renewable energy from third parties if it can be done at cost or cheaper than what the utility would pay to do it itself, which is known as the avoided cost.

Most PURPA contracts in Michigan are for hydroelectric, landfill gas or biomass projects, but developers see solar as the next frontier in the state. Here and in other states, though, utilities have challenged the cost of those projects in ways that critics say make them uneconomical for developers.

Since Consumers filed its IRP in mid June, developers and their trade groups are uncertain at best on the issue, while others are concerned they will be shut out from utility-scale projects.

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Solar in Your Community Challenge Workshop - Sunday, September 10, 2017 from 9:00-12:00

Chart House Energy invites you to kick off this year’s Solar Power International Conference in Las Vegas with company president, Rob Rafson, who will be speaking at the “Solar in Your Community Challenge Workshop” on Sunday, September 10 at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center. The workshop will be held in Surf Room A from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

We are excited to be participating in the series of presentations showcasing the Solar in Your Community Challenge, which was issued by the U.S. Department of Energy to spur the expansion of access to solar energy, especially for low- and moderate-income households, state, local, and tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations.

Rob will represent the Solar Destination Ypsilanti Team in a roundtable discussion with members from several other teams participating in the nationwide challenge from 9:45am to 10:20am. We hope to see you there!

Chart House Energy and Chart House Energy Investment Fund has opened an office in Michigan at MAREC 200 Viridian Drive, Muskegon, MI 49440

More to come.

March 30, 2009

Chart House Energy is proud to announce the largest solar PV project in Michigan. The 150 kW system will be operational Earth Day April 22, 2010.

SOUTH BEND, Ind., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovateus Solar is pleased to announce its plans for the installation of a 150kW solar power array project at the Torresen Marine facility in Muskegon, Michigan, representing the largest solar power project to date in the State of Michigan. Inovateus Solar is partnering with project manager Chart House Energy and Torresen Marine, to provide the marina and the community of Muskegon with a new power source atop Torresen's existing 28,000 square foot sailboat storage facility.

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In The News


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Torresen Marine solar project


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