Category Archives: Montana Solar Energy

St Pauls Lutheran Church in Missoula goes Solar

The SBS Solar team recently installed a 26.9 kW solar electric system for St Pauls Lutheran Church in Missoula MT.

A portion of the funds for this project were provided by USB (Universal Service Benefits) funding in Montana. In 1997 the Montana legislature passed an electric deregulation law that included language establishing a Universal Systems Benefits (USB) fund.

What are the Electricity USB Programs?

  • Low Income (energy assistance and weatherization)
  • Cost-Effective Conservation + R & D
  • Market Transformation
  • Renewables + R & D

Under this program (with these guidelines the E+ Renewable Energy Program (NorthWestern Energy) provides custom incentives for projects that benefit organizations and communities for non-profit or government facilities.  Projects receiving these funds often provide civic value including education and visible representation of renewable energy technologies to a broad audience. Broad Benefit Commercial solar PV incentives are awarded twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

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

The next round of proposals is due by March 31 2019. Proposal information is included in the Anywhere Library Exampleand the application requirements.  

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


Designing Solar Electric Systems with Growth in Mind

Solar Electric Systems Missoula Montana

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 your 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. Give us a call 406-381-5643.

New Construction Solar Electric Systems

Solar Electric New ConstructionNew Construction?  Are you building a new home?  This is the perfect time to add a solar electric system to your new home.  30% federal tax credit still available in 2018 and 2019.  State tax credit, $500.00 per tax payer makes this a great time to invest for the long term.  Build the system into your plans and reap the benefits. Call SBS Solar today for your free solar estimate.  406-541-8410.

REAP Small Business Grant Deadline October 31, 2018

Solar Electric System Montana

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.

Ground Mounting System with a Firm Foundation

Our ground mounts utilize galvanized steel posts which are set in concrete a minimum of four feet in the earth. Solar modules are long term, no maintenance by design so we want our mounting structure to be as well.

We are seeing some companies utilizing precast cement block to hold their solar structures.  This is a way around having a backhoe for installation and its cost.  However, any foundation built correctly, needs to be placed below the frost zone so it stays in one place.

Looking at a number of these precast units after one winter shows movement of one portion of the solar array one way and the next another direction. Frost heaving through the year has moved the entire precast block.  What will this look like after 10 years.  Not very good in our view.

We do not believe this is a place to skimp and have our own excavating equipment to keep the cost down as low as possible.

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.