Have you seen solar electric systems expanding all over Missoula? Do you still want to qualify for the 2016 Federal 30% tax credit? Join your neighbors and friends and Solarize Missoula. Call 406-541-8410.
Congratulations to the SolarReviews Top 100 American Residential Solar Contractors of 2016
For a couple of years now SolarReviews has provided data to the www.solarpowerworldonline.com Top Contractors List and we will continue to do so. However, we thought that because reviews score is only one thing considered in these lists (and that number of installations and employees seems to have a high weighting) some of the small and medium sized installers that were recording much higher levels of customer satisfaction were being overlooked. We congratulate these companies and the contribution they are making to the solar industry. We have created a sub list of each state below the national results on this page. These results are based only on reviews received in the last twelve months whereas our generic solar company reviews pages include all reviews for a company. To view the complete list click here.
Our Goal at SBS Solar is exceptionally satisfied customers. Thanks for letting us know.
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SBS installed a 5kw PV system on our house in April 2016. I originally contacted SBS because several friends had used them and all were completely satisfied. When I first contacted SBS by email, Dan returned my email within 24 hours to set up a time to come out to my house. When Dan visited my house he was professional, he listened to all my concerns and answered all my questions, we discussed several different options, and reached a conclusion about why type of system would work best for our location and my needs. Within a day, Dan sent a formal bid for the work, and within a couple more days we had a week scheduled for the work. The work was completed exactly on time and for the agreed upon cost. When Dan and his crew came to my house, Dan introduced me to his crew, who were also incredibly nice and thoughtful and careful in their work. Our system was fairly complex with PV panels on three different roof planes, and Dan and his crew were totally open to discussing with me various options for the installation that would meet their needs for efficiency and my needs for minimizing the visual impact of the panels and the connections among these three roof planes. After the installation, Dan and his wife Becky provided detailed directions and forms to have the system inspected and hooked up with the local utility. We ran into a small glitch with the inverter because I wanted to track the data and the manual that came with the inverter provided directions for directly linking my laptop to the inverter. But when I followed the directions the link didn”t work. I contacted Dan about this problem and he immediately contacted tech support at the inverter company. It turns out the inverter company changed the circuit board so it was no longer possible to link a laptop directly to the inverter and the directions in the manual were incorrect. Dan made sure that I understood what I needed to do to access the data coming from our inverter (we simply access the data directly from the inverter company”s website through our account). In summary SBS was fantastic to work with in every possible way.
Solarize Missoula: sponsored by The city of Missoula, Missoula Federal Credit Union and Montana Department of Environmental Quality are co-sponsors with MREA and Climate Smart for the Missoula program.
“We’re trying to make it simple for the homeowner to participate,” said Bryan von Lossberg, a Missoula City Council member who’s helping coordinate the campaign. “It’s modeled after the Solarize program that started in Portland (Oregon) five or six years ago. Now there are Solarize programs running all across the country.”
Here are some fun installations from Solarize Missoula Participants. Join Them!!.
As residential solar surges, the net-metering debate heats up. Matt Frank explores all sides. read more: http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/through-the-roof/Content?oid=2926187
Al Gore returned to the Ted stage February 2016 with yet another not to be missed TED Talk. Al Gore: The case for optimism on climate change.
The facts about climate change are scary. “Every night on the news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.”
Yet Al Gore is optimistic. Here are a few critical reason why.
- For Solar the news is exciting. “The best projections 14 years ago were that we would install one gigawatt per year by 2010. When 2010 came around, we beat that mark by 17 times over. Last year, we beat it by 58 times over. This year, we’re on track to beat it 68 times over.”
- “Now, the business community has certainly noticed this, because it’s crossing the grid parity point.Cheaper solar penetration rates are beginning to rise. Grid parity is understood as that line, that threshold, below which renewable electricity is cheaper than electricity from burning fossil fuels……Starting in 2010, investments globally in renewable electricity generation surpassed fossils. The gap has been growing ever since. The projections for the future are even more dramatic, even though fossil energy is now still subsidized at a rate 40 times larger than renewables.”
- “Germany, an industrial powerhouse with a climate not that different from Vancouver’s, by the way — one day last December, got 81 percent of all its energy from renewable resources, mainly solar and wind. A lot of countries are getting more than half on an average basis.”
- “Last year — if you look at all of the investment in new electricity generation in the United States, almost three-quarters was from renewable energy, mostly wind and solar.”
One of our largest uses of energy is the petroleum we use to run our trucks, equipment and cars. Three years ago I dove into biodiesel. I read everything I could get my hands on, built a processor from scratch and figured out how this stuff works. We went through quite a learning process. 2015 was our first cash positive year where our investment into a processor, storage tanks and infrastructure saved money versus conventional, what I term ”Dino” diesel.
We have always run diesel trucks yet we had to trade out of diesel engines which will not work with Biodiesel. We now run two Dodge trucks, a VW Passat and a Kubota fork lift all with Bio. In winter we have to blend with Dino diesel, yet three seasons of the year we run with as much B100 or 100% Bio as possible to the tune of 2,500 gallons a year.
The bottom line for us is that this fuel works and works well. Our 100 gallon processor is a kin to a large combination washing machine and dryer. It is automated to the point of loading with veggie oil and the two chemicals and hitting the start button, then half way thru the process, draining the glycerin byproduct and pushing another button to start the washing finishing stage. I collect used fryer oil from a number of local restaurants and purchase a portion of our oil straight from oil seed farmers.
It takes some time and energy which I classify as a hobby and it feels great to use gas stations as a backup source of fuel and reduce the heck out of our carbon footprint.
Dan Brandborg CFI
Photovoltaic Energy Specialist
620 Fish Hatchery Rd
Hamilton, MT 59840
Don’t get caught.
Old Man Winter arrived in Montana with is typical bluster, temperatures dipped and snow flurried. We continue to install solar systems throughout the winter as the weather allows. You know those beautiful snow free blue bird days when the snow has had a chance to melt off our south sunny facing rooves. This is when you will see the SBS Solar team cheerfully installing solar systems in winter. However snow and ice slow the process down. Don’t get caught. The 30% solar tax credit sunsets the end of 2016. Get your system reserved today. We anticipate a banner year and want to make sure your system is installed and operating in time to take advantage of the Federal tax credit.
Pantry Partners recently installed a 12,600 watt photovoltaic system with assistance from NorthWestern Energy’s grant program. NorthWestern has three grant programs. One for personal homes, a grant for those with commercial service and one for non-profit organizations. The grants are limited each year, so after being turned down initially Pantry Partners reapplied and the system was installed in March 2015. This grid tied PV system provides a majority of the electrical usage which includes two walk in coolers and freezers. This good sized system generated approximately $300 worth of electricity in the month of July alone.
Pantry Partners is a 501(c)3, volunteer organization that provides a once a month food box to those in need in North Ravalli County. In addition to the once a month food box, they also provide over 350 families with a Christmas food box to ensure clients are able to provide their families with a complete Holiday dinner. Pantry Partners also makes available Summer Lunch Program which provides extra food items for families with school-age children who receive free/reduced lunches at school and Birthday Boxes for client’s children up to 12 who have birthdays during the month.
For more information on Montana Solar Electric Systems and the NorthWestern Energy grant program call Dan 406-381-5643. For more information about Pantry Partners http://pantrypartnersfoodbank.org/ or call (406) 777-0351.
Clark Fork School in the Rattle Snake of Missoula recently installed a 6,840 watt solar electric system with assistance from NorthWestern Energy grant program. CFS is a community focused parent cooperative with a low student to teacher ratio. There is a bright future with renewables for the youth of Montana.
Each solar electric system in Montana faces its own challenges. Clark Fork School has an interesting roof. SBS Solar designed the system with 12 modules on the north facing roof with tilt up legs to face the array to the south, and another 12 modules on a smaller south facing roof. This is made possible with new Solar Edge inverter and optimizer technologies. Modules no longer need to be on the same plane or the same orientation. Although south orientation is optimal for solar – East and West orientations are still very viable.
Learn more about Clark Fork School http://www.clarkforkschool.org/.
For more information on Montana Solar Electric Systems and the NorthWestern Energy grant program call Dan 406-381-5643.