Flathead Electric Taps into the Power of Community Solar

Flathead Electric Taps into the Power of Community Solar

Community Scale
Not everyone lives in a home that’s right for solar. Until recently, Montanans that rent their homes or have shady rooftops had no way to benefit from solar electricity. But now they do...at least, if they're members of Flathead Electric Cooperative. Flathead Electric has just completed construction of the first ‘community solar’ project in the state, called the Solar Utility Network, or SUN. Community solar involves a group of people coming together to build one large solar array, as an alternative to each of them putting solar panels on their own rooftops. That means anyone can participate, even if their roof isn’t right for solar. It also lowers costs due to the economies of scale of a larger array. Flathead Electric provides power to more than 48,000 members in the Flathead Valley and…
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Committee weighs the benefits and costs of net metering law

Policy & Advocacy
At the September meeting of the Montana Legislature’s Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee (ETIC), MREA’s Policy Director, Ben Brouwer, presented a preliminary evaluation of the economic impact from net metering on NorthWestern Energy ratepayers and the state’s economy. The message to Legislators from MREA was clear: the economic benefit of net metering far outweighs the costs. The Committee’s study of net metering, triggered by the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 12 in the 2015 Legislature, has entered the data gathering phase. At the committee’s request, electric utilities, the electrical workers’ union and renewable energy industry groups submitted responses on September 1 to a series of questions pertaining to net metering costs, benefits, safety, interconnection standards, reliability, etc. You can download MREA’s full response here. For an updated version of MREA’s…
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