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Frequently Asked Questions


• Substantially reduce energy bills and combat rising electricity costs. Leverage financial opportunities like the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to recoup solar project costs, enhancing overall return on investment.  
• Ensure continuous operations by diversifying energy sources with reliable and consistent solar power.  
• Demonstrate commitment to sustainability, reduce your carbon footprint, and align with global corporate social responsibility trends. Elevate your company’s image by appealing to environmentally conscious customers and stakeholders. Leverage a commitment to solar energy for marketing and differentiating your company in the market. 
• Enjoy substantial long-term savings as solar installations typically last 25 years or more. Ensure stability in energy expenses by relying on solar power as a hedge against future price volatility. 
• Enhance employee engagement by showcasing a strong commitment to sustainability. Positively contribute to the local community by promoting cleaner energy sources and reducing overall grid demand. 

  • The prevalent incentives for commercial solar endeavors encompass the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), MACRS investment depreciation, and USDA REAP grants.
  • Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC): The ITC presents an opportunity to offset up to 30% of a commercial solar acquisition through a federal tax credit. Eligibility mandates a business to possess a tax liability upon filing. Significantly, in August 2022, Congress reinstated the 30% solar tax credit, extending its validity for a decade through 2032.
  • MACRS Investment Depreciation: Applicable to every commercial solar system, MACRS, a depreciation method, facilitates the recovery of business investments for tax purposes over a predetermined period through annual deductions.
  • USDA REAP Grants: Tailored for agricultural producers, USDA REAP grants are accessible in specific rural areas with populations below defined thresholds. These grants cover 50% of solar investments, up to $1,000,000, for qualifying businesses.
  • Local Utility and Municipality Incentive Programs: In addition to federal incentives, select local utilities and municipalities provide their own incentive programs. These can be integrated for additional cost savings. A proficient commercial solar installer possesses the expertise to articulate the diverse incentive options available in your specific geographical area.

Determining your company’s ideal solar system size involves assessing factors like building size, current energy usage, and desired electricity offset. One of our qualified commercial solar consultants can analyze these specifics to recommend a precisely sized system aligned with your goals, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness. Consultation with our experts ensures a tailored solar solution for your company’s unique needs.

Solar panels are designed to operate in conjunction with the utility grid and are inactive in the event of a grid outage. This limitation is rooted in both technical considerations and regulatory compliance.

From a technical standpoint, solar panels harness sunlight to generate power independently of a facility’s electricity consumption. In a grid-connected system, surplus solar energy is fed back into the grid for credit, and any additional power requirements are seamlessly sourced from the grid. This dynamic interplay serves to notably diminish the need for external energy procurement during daylight hours, thereby optimizing operational costs through a levelized cost of energy.

The second rationale involves safety regulations. During grid outages, the potential risk to repair crews arises if a local power generator, such as a solar array, inadvertently feeds power back into the grid lines. Consequently, utility regulations mandate that solar arrays automatically deactivate during such outages to ensure compliance with safety protocols.

The payback period for a commercial solar investment varies based on several factors, including the initial installation costs, available incentives, energy savings, and local conditions. On average, commercial solar projects often have payback periods ranging from 5 to 10 years.

Michigan Solar Solutions operates a full in-house service department that facilitates OEM hardware warranties per each manufacturer’s terms. Most panels are covered for 25 – 30 years, with inverter warranties typically covering ten years. In addition, all MSS Commercial systems come with a 3-year workmanship warranty. Our service department also offers customizable service options for non-MSS solar energy systems.


Solar works great in Michigan if your property has the room to install, and unshaded area for the panels to operate at their peak performance. Due to our high energy prices, Michigan is the best in the Midwest when it comes to return on investment for your solar array.

The best location is one where you have unobstructed southern exposure without any shading. East and West facing roofs are good too, but require a few more panels to create the same amount of power. Michigan Solar Solutions also installs ground-mounted solar arrays.

Homeowners are encouraged to notify their insurance company that they added panels. This will provide protection from unforeseen accidents or acts of nature that could impact the performance of the solar array.

Residential solar panels require zero maintenance. You can wash them or remove the snow if you want, but this cannot be considered maintenance since if you do not do it, your panels will be just fine.

The Return on Investment (ROI) for going solar depends on several factors: the home’s electricity usage and the timing of that usage, viability of the property for solar, the policies and pricing structures of the local utility company, the inclusion and cost of a battery system for backup power and prevention of loss from events like food spoilage, the unpredictable yet generally rising costs of traditional energy, and the specific solar equipment used. While initial investment costs may be significant, solar power can transform a home’s ongoing energy costs from a negative ROI (regular electricity bills) to a positive one, saving homeowners tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long term.

At Michigan Solar Solutions, our in-house team, comprising skilled engineers and experienced solar installers, manages the majority of our residential installations. We handle all electrical work and provide comprehensive service with our fully staffed department, ensuring high-quality control over every project. While we primarily rely on our internal expertise, we occasionally collaborate with specialized subcontractors for certain project aspects, enhancing our service while maintaining our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.


We all love to look at our solar array production via the handy online applications on our smartphones. But be forewarned: you may drive yourself crazy if you are expecting “normal” production during the Michigan Winters. That is because the Earth has tilted us away from the sun.
In the winter (November through February +/-) the sun’s rays have to penetrate the atmosphere at an increased angle, thus rays go through more atmosphere – dropping solar production significantly. The Earth’s tilt also means the days are shorter and the average hours of sunlight are decreased. Add in the thicker cloud cover on a high number of days per month and it is understandable how Michigan solar arrays only make 10-15% of the annual production over the entire four months of winter.
There are some winter days your array won’t even turn on. Many other days the array just appears to be flaky on your monitoring application. Don’t worry – this is all normal. When we size an array – all of that is taken into consideration. It is normal!
After a large snowfall, brush off and expose a portion of each panel. The panels will begin to produce energy and warm up melting the rest of the snow off the panels. For large or roof-mounted arrays you may want to use a roof snow broom/rake to remove the snow. If the roof rake has a metal end, duct tape a towel around it to protect the glass on the solar panels so they don’t get scratched or cracked when removing the snow. There are also telescoping snow brooms available online that auto dealers use to brush snow off cars that won’t scratch your solar panels.
* Note: Solar panels work best when they are cold.
So, if a period of very cold weather is expected, you will see a large benefit from removing any snow from the panels to maximize your energy production. The best hourly production you will have all year is when it is at or below zero!

If there is any snow at all on your solar array, it will disproportionately reduce your energy production. Either wait for the snow to shed our brush it off.

Step 1: Check your electrical panel and make sure your circuit breaker didn’t trip. If it did trip, reset it. If it didn’t trip the breaker then continue outside to the meter. Near the meter is your solar AC disconnect. The lever should be up in the ON position. If it isn’t up, flip it up. The only way for this to be off is if someone flipped it off.

Step 2: Make sure the router is plugged in. Next, reset your router. If it does not have a reset button, power it down for ten seconds (unplug it) then power it back up. If your system has a ZigBee/Gateway WI-FI then most of the time the issue is because the Gateway device (plugged into your router) has recently been moved, or an obstruction has been placed between the Gateway device and the antenna on the inverter. When this happens, the signal can be blocked/lost due to an obstruction. This will require either the Gateway device to be moved so that it has a clear line of sight to the inverter antenna, possibly closer to the inverter if available staying plugged into the router. Or the obstruction could be moved out of that line of sight. If all else fails, you may need to hardwire the connection, if available (may incur additional costs).

Step 3: If this fails, please contact our service department at (248) 397-5083 Option 1.

The utility company has no way of knowing how much power is produced by the solar system. They do not list solar power as Power Produced on their customer’s bill. They list solar power Outflow. The only power the utility company ever sees is the overflow power that cannot be consumed on-site because the solar array is generating more than the loads of the home can consume. At that point, when the solar array is generating more power than can be consumed at home, the excess power has nowhere else to go other than to backflow through the meter and to the utility company. This is the only power the utility company sees.

About 35 years ago, an international standard was created to rate all solar panel outputs. This was a result of manufacturers playing games with the figures in their marketing. This is called STD or standard test conditions. STD can only be mimicked in a laboratory setting on a specific machine that does a flash test in a controlled environment. This is because panel output varies dramatically depending on the temperature outside, how hazy the day is, and how intense the sun is.

A 310w panel can produce from zero watts to over 400w depending upon these factors. The output increases as the ambient temperature falls, as the sun becomes more intense and the skies become clearer. Those days when it is below zero ‘F’ has the best potential. This is why the wire sizing of a solar array is dependent upon these items. A solar array in a warmer climate can get away with smaller wires than we can in Michigan. At zero degrees ‘F’ a 310w solar array can produce over 356w, with all else being equal. The STD panel wattage listed on the placard, of any panel sold in the United States, is at an ambient temperature of 77°F (25 degrees c), 1000 W per square meter of sun intensity, and 1.5 atmospheres. When any of these factors change, so will the output.


The cost of solar depends on several factors:

How much electricity do you use? A family of four with all-electric appliances will use more electricity than a family of two with gas appliances
Are you trying to offset all of your electricity, so as to pay the electric company as little as possible, or just your most expensive, peak-cost electricity?
Do you have an area for the solar panels with good sun exposure and little to no shading? South-facing arrays will produce the most electricity, but East or West-facing arrays are also good options. West-facing panels will produce more of the most expensive peak power.

Michigan Solar Solutions will provide you with answers, free of charge, to let you know exactly what your investment will be to accomplish your goals.

Yes! Solar is modular: You can start small, and add on when you can afford it. We suggest you start with at least a twelve (12) panel system and add on from there.

Michigan Solar Solutions’ certified Master Electricians are well-versed in integrating generators with your solar and battery system. On occasion an old generator may have to be replaced or bypassed.

Yes! Think about the calculator on your desk that has a little solar panel in it. It has never seen the sun, but works great. All solar panels need is light. When it is cloudy, the light is diffused, just like household lighting.