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Montana Solar Partnership Wins 
Regional DOE 'Progress' Award

In June 2002, a Montana partnership that includes utilities, retail businesses, government agencies and non-profit groups received one of six U.S. Department of Energy Million Solar Roofs Best Progress awards.

According to Kathy Hadley, executive director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in Butte, more than 250 solar electric and solar water heating systems have been installed on buildings in Montana since 1999.

Those include dozens of homes on and off the electric grid, schools in 16 communities, a fire station in Missoula, a "Prayer Lodge" on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Busby, the state Capitol in Helena, and Spa Hot Springs resort in White Sulphur Springs.

"Montana has really excelled at developing solar energy over the last few years," Hadley said. "We have a unique partnership that has resulted in a lot of people working together to get solar projects installed. Because of our on-the-ground successes, we have been selected for the Best Progress award in the U.S. Department of Energy's Denver region, beating out eight other partnerships from the states of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah."

The award was announced at the American Solar Energy Society's annual conference in Reno, Nevada, in June.

The Montana partnership, developed and led by NCAT, includes Northwestern Energy, solar equipment dealers across the state, some rural electric cooperatives, the Department of Environmental Quality and other state government agencies, Bonneville Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, Indian tribes and non-profit groups.

According to Dave Ryan, a NorthWestern Energy engineer and president of the Montana Renewable Energy Association, the partnership goal is to install 1,000 systems in Montana by the end of 2010.

"The great progress we have made over the past few years is an indication of the cooperation we have had among a diverse group of interests coming together to encourage renewable energy development in Montana," Ryan said. "Working with policy makers, utilities, and renewable business, we hope to continue this excellent trend of building renewable energy."

Announced in June 1997, the Million Solar Roofs initiative works to remove market barriers and strengthen the demand for solar energy. Its goal is to install solar energy systems on one million U.S. buildings by 2010.

The initiative includes two types of solar technology: solar electric systems (or photovoltaics) that produce electricity from sunlight and solar thermal systems that produce heat for domestic hot water, space heating, or heating swimming pools.


Montana Solar Initiative Meetings Lead
to Formation of Renewable Association

The Montana Solar Initiative, in association with the federal Million Solar Roofs Initiative, has brought together businesses, utilities, nonprofit and government organizations, and private citizens to stimulate the market for solar energy technologies in Montana. The Initiative has also led to the formation of the Montana Renewable Energy Association. Read more about this effort in the Initiative newsletters.


May 2000 Newsletter
March 2000 Newsletter

February 2000 Newsletter

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