Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

 

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.  

Lifeline Creamery and Farm Store Solar Electric Installation

Lifeline Creamery and Farm Store received a REAP grant that will cover almost 25% of their solar electric project.

Lifeline Creamery and Farm Store Solar Installation

Do you own a small business in Montana (outside the city limits of Missoula)? The USDA Rural Development, REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) offers up to 25% grants for total eligible project costs, as well as loan guarantees.  Partnered with the 30% federal tax credit your savings really add up.

This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers.

Application Deadline: 

  • Grants of $20,000 or less: October 31, 2018 and March 31, 2019;
  • Unrestricted Grants (up to $500,000): March 31, 2019;
  • Loan Guarantees are competed continuously throughout the year.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to invest in the long term health of your business with an investment in solar energy and energy savings.

Call Dan for a free solar consultation today 406-541-8410.

Solar Energy System Installed for Your Annual Energy Usage

Solar Myth # 7 I will have an excess of energy that will go unused and will be wasted

Fact: Nearly all modern solar panel systems are connected to the conventional electric utility grid. When this happens, your meter spins backwards and your utility company credits you for that power. This grid-tied method tends to be the most convenient for homeowners. This is ideal for us in Montana, because of our long solar days in the summer and shorter days in the winter time.  In Montana the utility company will not write you a check for excess energy that you produce.  So generally your system will be sized to accommodate your average annual usage.  (determined by your utility bill).  Each year the solar electric system generates power during peak season (summer), and you consume power during the darker, shorter days of winter.  The utility company (each one slightly different dates) resets once a year and the process begins again.

Check out the rest of our videos.

Solar Made Easy. Is Solar Right for You?

Making solar easy in Missoula   Climate Smart Missoula, Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA), the City of Missoula and Missoula Federal Credit Union presented an informational workshop about going solar. Their aim – to make it easy! The goal is to help the consumer understand the process of installing a solar electric system and what barriers stand in the way.   Links to all the resources are Here.

Is Solar right for you?  Solar Energy, Missoula-Style!  Solar Process Flowchart

Navigate the flow-chart below to go step-by-step through the process of understanding the local solar landscape, and then chart your own path!

Solar Installer Missoula Montana

Growing Your Solar Electric System.

Here is a system that was designed with growth in mind.

There are many considerations to take into account when you are designing a solar electric system.  And growth is one of the considerations.  Perhaps you design a system to suit your current electric usage, but then want to add an electric car into the mix.  So the question is can you add to a solar electric system.  The answer is a qualified yes.

Discuss you current and potential needs with your design consultant.  Design the system with a large enough inverter to handle future additional modules.  Perhaps you hope to add batteries in the future.  All of this is significantly easier if your start with the end system in mind.

Off Grid Solar electric and renewable energy power systems

Montana Couple Builds in the Solitude of the Mountains

Off Grid Solar electric and renewable energy power systemsCabin Living Magazine features off-grid, remote home near Polebridge, Montana. This sumptuous year round dwelling has all the modern comforts with, 27 Solar Modules, two 6,000 watt inverters and a 48 volt battery bank of 1,900 amp hours. Read the entire article here.

Solar Panels are Fragile and Easily Broken Solar Myth #10 – Busted

Solar Myth #10  Solar Panels are fragile and easily broken

Fact:  Solar Panels are durable and can resist golf ball sized hail at 100 mph..  Solar Modules are made with tempered glass like the windshield of your car.  Solar panels are solid state, no moving parts and have a 25 year production warrantee.

We shot these videos at the SolarWorld factory near Portland Or in 2014.

Solar Myth #6 – Busted

Solar Myth #6 Solar panels require maintenance

Fact: Solar panels are solid state, have no moving parts, do not require regular maintenance and come with a 25 year warranty. Dust and debris can collect on solar modules, but most panel owners never clean the panels and instead rely on the rain to do the job for them.  Generally when it comes to  snow our recommended action is wait for the sunshine.  In Western Montana, grid-tie, net-metered homes make a majority of their solar power in the summer months.  Winter power generation is a bonus, rather than a necessity.  The days are shorter, the sun is lower and the sky is often overcast.  This does not mean that we don’t generate any power, it just means that we generate significantly less in the months around winter solstice.  Modules are generally set at an angle that enough snow will begin to shed, temperatures permitting.  The cells are of dark colors that promote melting and with enough consecutive sunny days your modules will be generating power once again.

Solar Myth #5 – Busted

Solar Myth #5  When the utility grid goes down I will have back up power.

Fact:  When the power goes out, grid-tied systems go out too. That’s because it’s not safe to be pushing electricity back out onto the utility wires while workers may be trying to fix the problem. Your inverter (the big box near your meter that converts DC electricity created by the panels into usable AC current) recognizes that the grid is out and shuts your system off.  A possible solution is to add batteries into your solar electric system for short term back up