Attention Senator Mike Shirkey and Our Legislators: Don’t Deny Solar Power to Michiganders

Ken Zebarah, Director of Sales – Commercial/Ag, Harvest Solar


Harvest Solar is a turn-key solar sales, design, and installation company that provides cost-effective renewable energy for agriculture, commercial, and utility customers throughout the Midwest. Family owned and Michigan based, Harvest Solar is proud to employ almost 100 people due to the exploding popularity of solar installations. Thousands of farms, businesses, and homes have installed solar panels to generate clean energy while reducing monthly utility bills ultimately creating a growing demand for the industry.


Thriving on exceeding all expectations, Harvest Solar is passionately involved in an emerging industry that is essential for the environment, great for the investor/customer, and welcomed for generations to come. A prominent installation from Harvest Solar includes that of Michigan state senator, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey.


Senator Shirkey has recognized the extraordinary benefits of going solar by installing an array on his own property; however, going solar is in dire jeopardy for the residents of Michigan. Unless Sen. Shirkey and the rest of the legislators in Lansing take action, this innovative, clean, and affordable technology will be denied to the residents of Michigan. An outdated law with an artificial limit is about to squelch the market for solar in much of the state—a market that for the past several years has been one of the most vibrant growth industries for Michigan.


Aligning with the industry growth and expanding into the Midwest, Harvest Solar has maintained roots with the corporate office residing in Jackson, Michigan. If the legislature does not address and render this issue, Harvest Solar will be forced to shift focus to neighboring states such as Illinois and Indiana. This is a painful reality causing a direct existential threat to my livelihood, my company, and our employees.


Michigan law has set a limit, or cap, on the amount of distributed generation or sources of electricity sited at a home or business such as solar panels. The cap was just reached in the territory of Jackson’s own Consumers Energy, the second-largest electric utility in the state. Although Consumers Energy has said they will consider increasing the cap to 2%, only the legislature can provide certainty for the industry across the state over the long-term.


If the cap is not lifted, solar installations will abruptly halt. Residents of Michigan will lack the ability to install solar like Sen. Shirkey. Uncertainty, unnecessary roadblocks, and the overall ability to install solar lingers on the decision to lift the cap. Many jobs are already being lost due to the threat of the cap being hit, projecting hundreds to thousands more to be lost if something is not done to lift this arbitrary restriction on solar.


Sen. Shirkey, you know the benefits of solar from your own experience with your own home array. Help others in your community access these benefits and protect Michigan-grown businesses against onerous, unnecessary limits on the free marketlift the cap.