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Create Green in Michigan

How to Apply

Before you install your solar panels or other distributed energy resources, and before you connect to our grid, you'll need to submit a New Interconnection Service Request via PowerClerk.

Once approved, you can install the system, then you'll submit a signed agreement with us that governs the arrangement, and following a successful inspection of your equipment we will install a bi-directional meter.

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information on our CreateGreen program.


Requirements For Michigan Customers

To be eligible for I&M’s Distributed Generation Rider (DG Rider), customers must generate a portion or all of their own retail electricity with an eligible Electric Generator which utilizes a Renewable Energy Resource.

System Sizing

The eligible Electric Generator systems and nameplate capacity limits are defined in the Distributed Generation Rider for each type of system. The system must be located on the customer's premises, serve only the customer's premises and must be intended primarily to offset a portion or all of the customer's requirement for electricity. The nameplate capacity to generate electricity will be compared to the customer’s annual consumption of electricity in kWh on the premises on a per meter basis. Eligible customers without adequate electricity use data can submit a projected load sheet. I&M will then review the data to ensure the facility sizing is intended primarily to offset a portion or all of the customer's own electrical load requirements on a per meter basis, consistent with the nameplate capacity limits for each type of eligible Electric Generator system.

Create Green Frequently Asked Questions

Expand the questions below to find answers to common questions on I&M's Application Approval Process.

I&M’s two net metering service riders - for customers with generating facilities of 20 kW or less (Rider NMS-1) or greater than 20 kW (Rider NMS-2) – are only available to eligible customers participating prior to February 1, 2020 as defined in the referenced riders.

All customers now on Rider NMS-1 and NMS-2 net metering will be grandfathered for 10 years from the date of their meter change following issuance of their permit to install under an approved CreateGreen and Distributed Generation Program Application.

Any changes to existing net metering customer’s systems may lead to a loss of net metering eligibility under these riders. Further, customers eligible under Riders NMS-1 and NMS-2 have the option to take service under I&M’s current DG Rider as their 10 years of eligibility nears an end.

Customers participating after the previous net metering service rider deadlines are subject to the requirements of I&M’s DG Rider or Tariff COGEN.

Only level 4 and 5 interconnection applications are required to submit a New Pre-Application Request.

The installer, customer and I&M should complete Steps 1-4 as summarized below:

Step 1: The installer or customer register for access to PowerClerk. The installer or customer then submits the New Interconnection Service Request via PowerClerk.

Step 2: The customer then signs the Application via DocuSign and pays the required application fee.

Step 3: I&M verifies all the information in the application and confirms the proposed distributed generation facility is designed to meet program requirements.

Step 4: The customer receives confirmation that a complete Application has been received by I&M.

For the timely issuance of the confirmation that a complete Application has been submitted, please make sure you and your installer reply to any requests for clarification during Steps 2 and 3.

Customers and their installers who submit an Application via AEP’s PowerClerk online application platform should focus on several key steps to ensure their Application can be confirmed as complete by I&M in a timely manner.

The key mistakes that often create the most errors and delays in application processing include:

  • The customer’s account number is NOT entered exactly as instructed in PowerClerk
  • The customer’s name and address on the account is NOT entered into PowerClerk exactly as it is shown on the customer’s monthly invoice
  • The customer’s meter number is NOT entered exactly as instructed in PowerClerk
  • Records Fix requests provided by the I&M team via e-mail from PowerClerk or the DG Coordinator are NOT responded to and addressed in a timely manner

Please note, if you have a question about a required entry in the PowerClerk online application form, just click on the Question Mark (?) near the entry for guidance.

Once a customer receives confirmation from I&M that a completed Application has been submitted in Step 4 of the process indicated above, the customer will be issued an Approval to build the eligible distributed generation facility when Steps 5-8 are completed as summarized below:

Step 5: I&M conducts a review of project’s impact to the distribution system. Note that< 5% of projects typically require a reliability study/system review by I&M.

Step 6: I&M conducts the review (or reliability impact study, if needed) and prepares a construction agreement for the installation of new I&M equipment, if necessary. I&M will install the new equipment after the customer signs the Construction Agreement and customer payment is received.

Step 7: The customer signs the Interconnection Agreement via DocuSign.

Step 8: The customer receives the Approval notification, and the eligible distributed generation facility can now be constructed by the installer as proposed.

For the timely issuance of the Approval, please make sure you and your installer reply to any requests for clarification, signature and or payment, as needed, during Steps 5-8.

Once a customer receives the Approval confirmation from I&M in Step 8 above, the customer will then be able to install their eligible distributed generation facility. Steps 9-12 need to be completed as summarized below before permission to operate will be given:

Step 9: The installer constructs the eligible distributed generation facility and uploads all required proof of installation and local building inspection documents to I&M via PowerClerk.

Step 10: I&M verifies that the eligible distributed generation facility was installed as proposed and creates order to install the bi-directional meter.

Step 11: I&M installs the bi-directional meter. Normal time frame for meter changes is 7-10 business days.

Step 12: I&M issues Permission to Operate and updates the customer’s account to ensure applicable credits for power delivered to I&M are applied.

The customer is not permitted to operate the eligible distributed generation facility until Permission to Operate has been issued by I&M in Step 12.

Your installer can grant you access to PowerClerk after you register for PowerClerk by granting you Read Only or Read/Write under the Access Grants for this Project. The installer will need a valid email address for you.

All of us have experienced at times frustration when e-mail client spam and junk filters block important e-mails we need. This can happen at times with e-mails from Power Clerk and I&M’s shared mailboxes used to manage application communications.

I&M recommends that you check your spam and junk folders often after your application is submitted to avoid missing communications from us. Common email addresses issued by PowerClerk and I&M include:

An initial Application must be submitted via PowerClerk at https://aep.powerclerk.com/ and must include uploads of the following information:

  • A site location map,
  • An electrical one-line diagram showing the configuration of the proposed distributed generation facility. Projects greater than 20 kW must have the one-line sealed by a licensed Professional Engineer or signed by a licensed electrical contractor with license number noted. Projects greater than 550 kW must have the one-line sealed by a licensed Professional Engineer.
  • A series of site pictures that demonstrate the location of panel installation, the current electrical meter, and the area surrounding the current electrical meter up to 2 feet in all directions,
  • Specification sheets for all equipment proposed to be installed.

Once your eligible distributed generation facility is approved for installation and constructed per Steps 7 and 8 above, you will need to upload the following documents to Power Clerk:

  • A copy of the local building inspection report
  • A letter from the licensed electrician attesting that the generation equipment has been installed in accordance with applicable local and National Electric Code requirements (if no local permit inspection authority exists)
  • Digital pictures of
    • The installed generation equipment,
    • The AC disconnect,
    • The inverter nameplate,
    • The utility meter, and
    • All required placards under National Electric Code requirements.

In order to obtain permission to install and ultimately operate an Eligible Electric Generator system for a Renewable Energy Resource under I&M’s DG Rider, a customer shall submit a completed Application. This application requires payment of a the below applicable fees which will go into effect in January of 2024:

  • The pre-application report fee $300.
  • The non-export track fee $100 + $1/kWac for certified DERs and $100 + $2/kWac for non-certified* DERs.
  • The fast track initial review fee is $100 + $1/kWac for certified* DERs and $100 + $2/kWac for non-certified DERs.
    * “Certified” means an inverter-based system has met acceptable safety and reliability standards by a nationally recognized testing laboratory in conformance with IEEE 1547.1-2020 and the UL 1741 September 28, 2021 edition except that prior to commercial availability, inverter-based systems which conform to the UL 1741SA September 7, 2016 edition are acceptable.
  • Any applicable legacy net metering program application fee pursuant to R 460.1004(7) or distributed generation program application fee pursuant to R 460.1006(6), in combination with any applicable fast track initial review fee, fast track supplemental review fees and any study track fees, must not exceed a total of $50.
  • The initial fee caps for a fast track supplemental review and the study track for all levels of DERs are as follows:
    1. The fee for a fast track supplemental review including all review screens may not exceed $1,000.
    2. The study track fee for interconnection application review and the scoping meeting may not exceed $300.
    3. The system impact study fee may not exceed $10,000.
    4. The facilities study fee may not exceed $15,000.

The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) established a new class of generating facilities known as qualifying facilities (QFs). QFs fall into two categories: qualifying small power production facilities and qualifying cogeneration facilities.

To apply for a QF:

  1. Submit application in PowerClerk

    Please note: prior to submitting your application, the QF may request a New Pre-Application Request/Screen report in PowerClerk that will provide our available distribution load for interconnection requests at the provided location. Applicable fee will be invoiced.

  2. Submit a self-certification or apply for and obtain a Commission certification of QF status, Form No. 556 available at https://www.ferc.gov/qf
  3. Address the requirements of I&M’s Cogeneration and/or Small Power Production Service Tariff (TARIFF COGEN/SPP) found in I&M’s Michigan tariff book, SHEET NO. D-68.00: https://www.indianamichiganpower.com/company/about/rates/mi
  4. Establish a legally enforceable obligation (LEO) with I&M as outlined:
    • Provide documentation confirming it has obtained the requisite QF status from FERC. QF’s that “self-certify” must provide I&M with their submitted FERC Form No. 556 - Certification of QF Status for Small Power Production and Cogeneration Facilities, or an attestation that the QF meets the requirements for QF status if its net power production is less than 1 MW and is exempt from FERC Form No. 556.
    • Provide a description of the location of the project and its proximity to other projects within one mile and within 10 miles which are owned or controlled by the same developer.
    • Provide a non-binding, good faith estimate of the energy production for the project that includes the kilowatt-hours or megawatt hours to be produced by the QF for each month and year of the entire term of the project’s anticipated avoided cost power purchase agreement.
    • Provide documentation of an interconnection application with I&M and proof of payment of the related fees.
    • Provide documentation of meaningful steps to obtain site control adequate to commence construction of the project at the proposed location.
    • Provide documentation of all applications, including filing fees, to obtain all necessary permits, including federal, state, and local permitting and zoning approvals.

      In lieu of documentation of applications to obtain all necessary permits, the QF may provide proof of firm site control in the form of an executed lease option or the equivalent and a timeline of when the QF will be applying to obtain all necessary permits.

    • If qualifying as a “cogeneration facility” written proof must be provided to the electric utility of a steam host that is willing to contract for steam over the full term of the project’s anticipated PPA for a cogeneration facility.
    • Provide proof of a deposit, paid in full, as listed below to cover the estimated costs for a system impact or facilities study, such as an engineering review or distribution study, should a study or studies become necessary.

      The deposit will include a non-refundable component to cover I&M’s initial costs of processing the customer request, including the administrative costs associated with determining the formation of a LEO.

      The QF is responsible for the actual costs for any and all system impact or facilities studies, such as an engineering review or distribution study, up to the fee caps established in the Commission Electric Interconnection and Net Metering Standards, or successor fee caps under the subsequently promulgated Interconnection and Distributed Generation Standards,


      • ≤ 150 kW: $150 deposit to cover the Non-Refundable LEO administrative amount
      • 150 kW - 550kW: $500 deposit, of which $150 is a Non-Refundable LEO administrative amount
      • 550kW - 1 MW: $1,500 deposit, of which $300 is a Non-refundable LEO administrative amount
      • 1 MW- 2 MW: $5,000 deposit, of which $500 is a Non-refundable LEO administrative amount
      • 2 MW - 5 MW: $10,000 deposit, of which $500 is a Non-refundable LEO administrative amount.

Important Update and FAQs

There will be new DER requirements effective January 2024. Check out our FAQs for more info.


DER, or distributed energy resources, are sources of electric power that aren't part of the main power system. This includes generators such as solar panels as well as energy storage facilities that operate alongside the main power system, also known as the power grid. Typically owned by customers, DER are primarily used to meet the energy needs of customers' home or business property. Any un-used power can be moved to the grid, if the DER is interconnected.

Before anything is installed, it's important to go through the interconnection application process.

To connect your devices, like solar panels, battery storage systems, or generators, to the grid, we require you to have a valid tariff option and follow the DER Interconnection Process.

This process isn’t just about meeting utility requirements and state laws, it ensures the safety and reliability of the grid. It’s also an opportunity to uncover any hidden issues and make sure your DER works effectively.

Before committing to any vendor or contractor, we strongly recommend getting an approved interconnection application to understand any necessary upgrades, costs, or mitigations.

Make sure to install DER equipment that is IEEE 1547-2018-certified.

Starting January 1, 2024, make sure you have the right equipment that meets the IEEE 1547-2018 Standard or its equivalent to connect with us. This is important because as more DERs join the grid, they become crucial interconnected components, and we need to trust their reliable performance. For more information, check out the TIIR (our technical requirements document).

Don't forget to give I&M a heads-up whenever you make changes to your DER.

Before making any major changes to your installation, like adding more solar panels, upgrading or removing your generator, reach out to us. You can send an email to our coordinator or contact your customer account manager. This is a requirement of your Interconnection Service Agreement, and we're here to help ensure that your changes align with your current grid connection. We'll even give you advice on possible adjustments to support your updated DER.

Start your application through the on-line portal.

Once you've provided all the necessary information, paid any fees and signed your application, we'll start the technical review process. After conducting a Technical Analysis and agreeing on any required mitigations, we’ll provide you with the Interconnection Service Agreement (ISA) and if needed, a cost estimate that includes approved items and necessary upgrades. Once you've signed the ISA and submitted payment for the interconnection equipment, you're good to go. Construction can move forward, as long as there’s no further changes to your project.

After completing the installation, including required upgrades or meter updates, conducting all necessary testing and commissioning, and ensuring all payments associated with your DER Facility interconnection have been made, we’ll give you a Permission to Operate letter.

You might, it depends on the capacity of the DER device(s) you're installing and how it's integrated into your existing electric service panel. We highly recommend connecting with a licensed electrician who has experience sizing panels for this kind of technology. Keep in mind that certain locations may have specific codes or requirements. For more info, you can refer to the National Electric Code (NEC 705.12) with your electrician.

Don’t forget, all customers must have a visible lockable disconnect switch for their DER interconnection.

During the technical evaluation of your application, we'll determine and document any necessary system upgrades. These upgrades might include replacing service transformers, meters, or adding additional meters, depending on the DER and program you're interested in.

Depending on the nature and size of your DER, you'll need to provide proof of local inspections and testing. We’ll check meter functionality, placards, disconnects, and safe ingress/egress plans. It's important to have a qualified technical expert available to coordinate with our staff as needed. Your installer should conduct thorough testing to ensure device settings and communications capabilities meet I&M interconnection requirements.

When testing larger DERs, we review third-party testing results and I&M may come onsite to verify them with your DER technical representative. We also check meter functionality, placards, disconnects, and ensure safe ingress/egress plans are in place.

If your project doesn't meet the technical specs, it can lead to delays, disconnections, and extra costs. However, if your application is approved and your system is installed according to TIIR requirements, getting Permission to Operate should be straightforward.

Make sure to keep your interconnected equipment in good working order by following the technical requirements, so it won't cause any issues with your electric service or other customers.

If we determine that your DER is not performing as expected or causing issues for the grid, we may ask you to temporarily shut down your device. If this happens, we can send someone to safely disconnect your service. You may need to work with your equipment provider or installer to investigate and resolve your device’s operational issues. Once you’re ready to restart your DER device, we'll make sure everything is in order and quickly reconnect your service after verifying normal operations.

We’ll monitor your DER equipment and may send it commands.

We'll stay connected with your device to stay informed about your DER's performance. Verifying its effectiveness with the grid is important to us. If grid conditions require a change, we can provide instructions to your device.

If you need to take your DER out of service for anything other than routine maintenance, please reach out to our coordinator. We may request testing or other verifications to ensure your DER is set up and working correctly.

You don’t need our approval for home backup generators that are only activated during outages. However, if you plan to connect it at the I&M meter you will need to get our approval and help. We may require certain information about your backup generator and there may be other local inspection or code requirements. We encourage you to reach out to a local qualified licensed electrician.

These programs, created by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), allow third-party providers to contract with customers (like you) who own DERs to collectively offer services in the wholesale electric market. Aggregated DERs will be used by third-party aggregators, who respond to signals from the grid operator.

Before connecting your DER (such as solar PVs or battery energy storage systems [BESS]) to an aggregation, make sure you have a valid Interconnection Service Agreement with I&M.

Your aggregator will then request permission from us to aggregate your devices, and we'll evaluate the feasibility of these devices responding to aggregation signals.

Additional information on Aggregation will be provided in a separate document as aggregation rules are developed by the wholesale energy entity and state commissions in the I&M markets.

Additional Information About Interconnecting Your Generating Equipment System

For more specific information, contact our Interconnection Services Coordinator:

Rebeca Garza
Phone: 260.408.3402
Email: DGCoordinator_IM@aep.com

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