Steve German had been thinking about solar for a while. “My daughter in Portland installed a system several years ago, and it’s been in my mind for quite some time that I should do it also,” he recalled recently.
So when Steve read about ‘Solarize Missoula’ in the Missoulian late last year, he was interested. Solarize Missoula was a program to significantly increase solar installations in Missoula by making it simpler and more affordable for homeowners to pursue solar. The program was organized by the Montana Renewable Energy Association in partnership with the Missoula Federal Credit Union, Climate Smart Missoula, the City of Missoula, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
On December 1, 2015 Steve attended an information session about Solarize Missoula at the public library, and signed up for a free site assessment through the program. He was assigned to Jordan Solar, one of the four local solar businesses that participated in Solarize Missoula.
After the site assessment, a structural engineering report revealed that Steve’s attic required additional supports to handle the weight of the solar panels. Steve did this work himself and passed the inspection with no problems.
As Steve recalls, “The whole process was easy. Dealing with Janelle [Stauff, of Jordan Solar] was very pleasant, everything was on time and carried out professionally and I was quite satisfied.”
Steve’s 3.135 kilowatt rooftop solar array was completed in May 2016, and Steve reports that it is performing as expected. “Janelle sent me a graph of anticipated production from the panels, and for the month of June I was within just a few kilowatt-hours of the prediction.”
His final comment? “I would encourage everybody to do it.”
- Location: University District, Missoula
- Owner: Steve German
- Installer: Jordan Solar, BCE Engineers
- Utility Service Territory: NorthWestern Energy
- Capacity (kW): 3.135
- Incentives: Federal and state tax credits
- Equipment Used: 11x 285W SolarWorld modules, SolarEdge DC optimizers and 3000 watt inverter