Category Archives: Montana Solar Energy

Missoula’s Clean Energy Expo

Missoula's Clean Energy ExpoSaturday, October 20, 2018
11am – 3pm
​Caras Park Pavilion
Get plugged in to the clean energy revolution! 
Climate Smart Missoula is excited to host the first annual Missoula Clean Energy Expo, Saturday, October 20, 2018, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Caras Park.

This free event will showcase local solar and renewable energy opportunities and businesses, energy efficiency, and other efforts that will help move our community to 100% clean electricity. 

Sponsored by: City of Missoula Energy and Climate Action,  Climate Smart Missoula,  Montana Renewable Energy Association,  Missoula Federal Credit Union

Missoula Solar home on National Solar Tour

Missoula Home on National Solar TourMissoula Solar home on National Solar Tour
 
When: Saturday October 6th 10:00 am – 4:00 pm 
Where: 5860 Kerr Drive Missoula, MT
 

For more than two decades, The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has organized and delivered the largest grassroots solar event in the U.S., the National Solar Tour.

Solar open houses are a chance to visit homes and see local renewable energy in action!
Visit solar open house on the Tour to learn about:
 
Reducing electricity costs;
Supporting energy independence;
Protecting against power outages;
Reducing carbon emissions; and
Much more!
Have you ever considered installing solar panels on your home, cabin, or business?  Call Dan today for more information 406-381-5643 and get a free solar estimate today.

Financing Solar – Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Solar Energy Missoula MontanaMontana Department of Environmental Quality offers $0 down, low-interest loans for solar and other alternative energy systems. Call 406-444-6586 or click here for details. 

 The Montana Department of Environmental Quality offers $0 down, low-interest loans for solar installations and other alternative energy systems to individuals, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and government entities. For details about the Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program, call 406-444-6586, or click here

Federal Tax Credits
Residential 30% Renewable Energy Credit (thru 2019)This tax credit is applicable for all primary and secondary private homes.  It includes all associated costs, such as installation and electrical work.

State (Montana) Tax Credits
Montana State provides a 500.00 per tax payer tax credit, or 1000.00 per couple for your solar installation. 

Financing your Solar Electric System

Embedded Energy - Solar Module ManufacturingFinancing your Solar Electric System

Have you been considering installing a solar electric system on your home or business?  Missoula Federal Credit Union now offers 4.5% interest rates on solar electric installations.

  • Really Easy to Use
  • Unsecured
  • Fast
  • No Prepayment Penalties
  • Apply online
  • Apply by phone at (406) 523-3300

Begin the process now and take advantage of the 2018 Federal Tax Credit and State Tax Credit. Planning now ensures future savings.

Loans

Missoula Federal Credit Union offers two loan options:  Solar Home Equity Loan or Unsecured Solar Loan

Federal Tax Credits
Residential 30% Renewable Energy Credit (thru 2019)This tax credit is applicable for all primary and secondary private homes.  It includes all associated costs, such as installation and electrical work.

State (Montana) Tax Credits
Montana State provides a 500.00 per tax payer tax credit, or 1000.00 per couple for your solar installation. 

Solar Energy Grants for Non Profit Organizations

Does your Non Profit qualify for a solar electric grant?

This is an awesome investment in the long term sustainability of your organization.

If your non-profit is interested in assistance with the grant application call Dan today. 406-541-8410.

Proposal information is included in the Anywhere Library Example and the application requirements. 

Grants are awarded twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.  Next Deadline November 1, 2018.

The 5 criteria used  to rank proposals are as follows:

  1. Non Profit
  2. Geographic Location
  3. Participant Match ( at least 10%)
  4. Educational Value
  5. System Maintenance

 

Wild Rose Emu Ranch Solar Electric System

You will often find Clover Quinn at the Hamilton Farmers Market on Bedford St from 9:00 – 12:30 on Saturdays in the summer.  Clover is very excited about her solar electric system.  “Last month our electric bill was $50.04.  That includes the base rate of $46.00.” Clover smiles,  “Who would have dreamed we would eagerly await our electric bill in the mail.”

You can also find Wild Rose Emu Ranch products at https://www.wildroseemuranch.com/.

Invest in your own Solar Electric System Today.  SBS Solar Can Help

Call SBS Solar today for your free solar estimate.  406-541-8410.

Lifeline Produce Bitterroot Valley Montana Goes Solar

Lifeline Produce has been growing quality organic produce in the Bitterroot Valley since 1978.  In 2018 Lifeline added a 11.4 kW Solar electric system.  

Micro Inverters versus SolarEdge

 

SolarEdge Inverter

Micro Inverters versus SolarEdge and why we do not use Micros anymore.
Nine years ago, Enphase Corporation from California introduced one of the first viable micro inverters and it was a big deal. The advantages were huge as no longer did we need to have long strings of 10 modules that suffered greatly when only one was shaded or covered with snow. As well we could now look at the production of each individual module and easily identify an issue. The monitoring was easy to employ with a simple data cable which transmitted production data to a website keeping track of production. Before this detailed monitoring was an expensive option.
That was nine years ago, a lifetime in this industry. Enphase upset the domination of several European manufactures who owned the world-wide inverter market. Several of these companies came out with there versions of micros. One Swiss company jumped into micros and a couple of years later discontinued this offering.
This was telling as one of the major questions of utilizing a microinverter is where it is placed. Micros sit behind the solar module in a hostile environment. Here in Western Montana we know that a summer day can start in the cool 40’s and end up in the 90’s. And up on your roof high afternoon temps are even more extreme. This a big temperature change for the electronics to tolerate on a daily basis.
Other parts of the planet do not see this extreme variation and this is less of a factor. However, the manufactures claim a 25 year warranty. The big question is will these electronics last as claimed. In our experience it is common to see a company with grand claims disappear with insolvency or reorganization saying goodbye to long term liabilities like warranties.
SolarEdge steps in and changes the Inverter world once again.
This inverter system is the next step in the evolution of the inverter. SolarEdge took the advantages of Micros and said goodbye the largest disadvantage of where the electronics do their job. By taking the bulk of the electronics and placing them on a protected wall or even better in a utility space, this reduces the operating temperatures and gives us a longer useful life. A small optimizer with much simplified electronics is placed behind the module and provides all the benefits of micros such as individual module level monitoring.
These inverters operate at an amazing 99% efficiency and have swept the grid tied solar market with a dominate hold of the world inverter market.
We have 450 micros out in the field and we can see some applications for this product yet SolarEdge remains our go to inverter technology.