Protecting the Environment, Sustaining Communities
Protecting the environment is the main concern of the three co-owners of Solar Plexus LLC, a renewable energy installation and consulting business in Missoula, Montana.
“Global climate change is the number one problem facing mankind,” says Rip Hamilton, who owns Solar Plexus along with Lee Tavenner and Mary Hamilton. “That’s what drives our work. But the great thing about renewable energy is that it not only makes good environmental sense, it also makes good economic sense.”
Since starting the business in 1994, the Solar Plexus crew has helped hundreds of families and businesses reduce both their environmental footprints and their utility bills. In all, they’ve installed more than three hundred solar, hydropower, and wind systems in more than 10 states.
Solar Plexus has been part of an evolving renewable energy industry over nearly 20 years. Lee explains, “The change in the last few years has been dramatic. Solar has come of age; it’s now got a manufacturing capability that’s stronger, and the price has come way down.”
The economic benefits extend not only to consumers of renewable energy, but also to the people that install the systems, like the Solar Plexus crew.
Mary explains that renewable energy offers opportunities to millions of Americans in the form of sustainable jobs in their home towns, doing good work that offers a decent living wage. “Electricians wired every house in America one at a time, putting millions of people to work. Now we need to solarize every house in America, one at a time, creating sustainable jobs for millions more Americans,” she says.
The economic benefits extend throughout the communities in which renewable energy businesses are located. For nearly 20 years, Solar Plexus has been contributing to Missoula’s economy by hiring local architects, engineers and electricians; using local rental equipment; and buying local advertising. “We’re part of what makes a community work, in every way,” Mary says.