The Michigan Public Service Commission approved DTE Energy's plan to expand its SolarCurrents customer-owned pilot program, which offers customers a more affordable way to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their homes and businesses. The second phase of the SolarCurrents program will offer an additional 2MW of capacity over the next two years.

"DTE Energy is expanding its SolarCurrents Program, making solar energy more affordable for our customers, and helping us meet the state's renewable energy goals," said Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy VP, marketing and renewables. "It is an overwhelmingly popular program for our customers and solar energy system installers, and we're looking forward to beginning the next phase."

In the first phase of the SolarCurrents program, which was fully subscribed last year, nearly 600 solar energy projects were built that represented a total of 5MW of capacity. Customers participated in the first phase of the program on a first-come, first-served basis.

To have a more controlled pace of installations, the 2MW will be awarded in four random selections of 500kW each over two years — January and June of 2013 and 2014. Speedier project commissioning also is expected in the second phase.

Workshops for customers and installers will be scheduled this year. See dteenergy.com/solar for more information.