Category Archives: Montana Solar

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 Clean Energy Expo, Saturday, October 20, 2018

https://www.missoulaclimate.org/clean-energy-expo.htmlSaturday, October 20, 2018
11am – 3pm
​Caras Park Pavilion
Get plugged in to the clean energy revolution! 

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. 

Day of activities:

  • Noon: “Solar-ease” workshop + meet solar installers
  • 1pm:  Release of 100% Clean Electricity for Missoula draft “Options Report”
    • Mayor Engen, Amy (Climate Smart), Chase (City of Missoula). Panel discussion: Climate commitments and energy policy in Missoula & Montana, with Missoula FCU, MEIC, and more 
  • 2pm: “Virtual tour” of Missoula’s cool green buildings and homes
  • Meet green businesses and non-profits + learn how to go zero waste and save energy
  • Family-friendly activities – including pumpkins!
  • Take the 0-50-100 pledge  

Learn More

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

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.