The Montana Solar Menu of Options report was developed to help Montana communities develop community-scale solar projects. The report guides the reader through the process of developing three different types of community-scale solar projects from forming a project team to installing and maintaining the completed solar array. This report is a must read for anyone looking to better understand how to the solar installed in their community. The Menu of Options report was prepared in March 2018 for the Montana Energy Office by Cascadia Consulting and Spark Northwest. Read and download the report here.
The Montana Energy Office hosted eight community meetings, facilitated by the Montana Renewable Energy Association, across the state between September and October 2017 to both inform and listen to communities about the potential for community-scale solar in Montana. The meetings will help guide the Montana Solar Community Project's efforts over 2018 and 2019 working with Montana communities and interested stakeholders in developing additional community-scale solar projects. A summary of the meetings' findings available here and the presentation used by the Montana Energy Office is available here.
The Montana Solar Market Assessment was prepared in September 2017 for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by Clean Power Research and Synapse Energy Economics. The report includes an analysis of solar market penetration in Montana, discussion of community-scale solar policies in Montana and across the west, and case studies of community-scale solar development in the Montana. Read or download the report here.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed maps for DEQ that depict the solar resource in and around 25 cities and reservations in Montana. The maps show the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) in dollars-per-kilowatt hour ($/kWh) for 50 kilowatt, ground-mounted, fixed-tilt solar arrays on half-acre plots of land (each dot in the maps represents one half-acre parcel). The cost estimates are based on a variety of factors including local solar resource potential, estimated solar array installation costs, land ownership, proximity to utility transmission and distribution lines, etc. An interactive map of Montana's solar resource potential is available here. Static Maps and supply curves of the solar resource in and around each city and reservation included in the analysis are available below: