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.
Montana 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.
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.”
We are thrilled with our new 36-panel solar array installed recently by Dan Brandborg and his great team at SBS Solar. This highly skilled and experienced group was great to work with from start to finish, and we most highly recommend this company to anyone wanting to utilize clean solar energy for their home or business. Dan and his team were always available to answer our questions, the project went smoothly, and we are now producing clean electricity for us and even others to use. Thank you SBS Solar for everything you did.
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.
One often stated myth is that manufacturing solar panels requires more energy than the solar module will produce is simply not true.
According to a 2004 National Renewable Energy Laboratory study that analyzes several different panel technologies, “Producing electricity with photovoltaics (PV) emits no pollution, produces no greenhouse gases, and uses no finite fossil fuel resources.” and it takes only 1 – 4 years for the energy savings accumulated by producing electricity from solar to equal the energy cost of producing the panel.
Solar technology has improved in the years since this study was conducted, and production efficiencies have driven the “energy payback period” down even further. Solar modules generally have a 25 year warranty and can continue to produce long after that time frame(at a slightly reduced rate) lifetime production of a solar module exceeds far embedded costs.
Valley Villas is one of the largest solar electric systems in Montana. It has many unique features, three separate buildings, 34 apartment units, with two laundry rooms. SBS Solar used all SolarWorld 325 modules and Fronius inverters.
The developer and architect on the project kept their eye on efficiency.
Air source heat pumps for heating and cooling
All energy efficient appliances
High performance insulation in the ceiling and walls
LED lighting indoors and out
High-E windows and doors
All 17 lower level units also incorporate handicapped accessible design features
Energy efficient washers and dryers in each laundry room
And of course individually Net Metered photovoltaic systems to help with energy costs
This landmark installation offers efficient affordable housing units that are a model for the affordable housing industry.