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Bozeman Nonprofit Installs One of City's Largest Solar Systems

Posted on: January 30, 2012

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s newly renovated headquarters building—a former pea seed warehouse—features a 270-panel solar array, said to be one of the largest solar electric systems in Bozeman. According to a report in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the system will provide about 30 percent of the building’s electricity, saving an estimated $4,230 in the first year alone. The nonprofit organization is leasing the solar panels that comprise the system.

Read the full article at

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Montana State University-Northern Awarded Biofuels Grant

Posted on: January 23, 2012

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced a $647,748 grant to Montana State University-Northern of Havre to expand its biodiesel program. The grant is in support of the North Central Montana Renewable Industry Initiative to commercialize green technology and create new high-skill, living-wage jobs. The project is expected to create 26 jobs and generate $90 million in private investment.

“With today’s announcement, Montana is taking another step forward to create renewable energy jobs and tap into Montana’s vast energy resources,” said U.S. Senator Jon Tester. “MSU Northern and Bear Paw Development Corporation will work with local developers to create jobs, promote biofuel projects along the Hi-Line, and grow Montana’s economy. I will continue my fight for smart investments that support Montana’s local markets and put Montanans to work.”

Read the full press release at

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DOE Announces New Online Tools to Help Deploy Distributed Wind Energy Systems

Posted on: January 17, 2012

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced two new online tools to assist state and local policymakers, consumers, and stakeholders in evaluating siting and policy issues to help accelerate the use of distributed wind energy systems - such as wind turbines installed at homes and businesses. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy funded development of the “Distributed Wind Site Analysis Tool” and “Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool” through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants. The tools are designed to help more people across the country install wind turbines to produce clean, renewable energy.

Distributed wind energy systems are typically installed near the point of electricity use at residences, businesses, and community institutions such as schools and hospitals to help save energy, reduce energy bills, and cut carbon emissions. The two new online tools will lower barriers to distributed wind energy deployment, identified in DOE’s 2008 report, 20% Wind Energy by 2030. The report identifies site-specific factors such as zoning and permitting costs, interconnection fees, shipping, and other related costs as significant factors in the costs of distributed wind systems. Such costs can limit distributed system deployment even in wind-rich locations.

Read the full press release at

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Rim Rock Wind Power Project Moving Ahead

Posted on: January 12, 2012

NaturEnerUSA, LLC, has announced that it has secured a $320 million construction loan for the Rim Rock wind power project. Located in Montana’s Glacier and Toole counties, the 189-megawatt project is expected to be in operation by the end of the year. The electric energy produced will be purchased by San Diego Gas & Electric to help meet the requirements of California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. Rim Rock is the third Montana project developed by San Francisco-based NaturEner. Read the full story in the Great Falls Tribune at

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Wind Power Poises for a Busy Year: Five Trends to Watch in 2012

Posted on: January 9, 2012

A big year is in store for the wind power industry in 2012, both in the policy arena and out in the field. With the Production Tax Credit (PTC), wind power’s key policy incentive, set to expire at the end of the year, industry members and advocates will be pushing for a PTC extension so that the industry can grow to nearly 100,000 jobs just four years from now. Meantime, developers will be busy getting wind farms built and online by year’s end.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently looked back at the year in wind power for 2011. Now it’s time to take a look ahead at the trends that promise to define 2012 and beyond. Read about the trends at

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