MRSAP Phase Two Report: Community Engagement

MRSAP Phase Two Report: Community Engagement

Education and Information, Special Programs
In 2020, MREA launched the Montana Rural Solar Access Project with the goal of ensuring that our rural communities across the state have access to the independence, cost savings, and resiliency that distributed solar can offer. In the Summer of 2020, we kicked off Phase One of the project with a research and literature review to understand how rural communities have gained access to distributed solar development in other states, what opportunities and challenges those communities faced, and how organizations like ours could bring these best practices to Montana. This year, we launched Phase Two to ‘ground truth’ this research here at home. Between July and September of 2021, we held community meetings in Fort Benton, Havre, White Sulphur Springs, Red Lodge, Dillon, Hamilton, Forsyth, Glasgow, Columbia Falls, and Shelby.…
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Reflections on the ASES Tour in Montana

Reflections on the ASES Tour in Montana

Education and Information, Special Programs
Calhoun's solar-powered home in Whitefish, MT Every year the American Solar Energy Society holds their National Solar Tour, which encourages households and businesses with solar to host voluntary tours that local community members can attend. The tour provides opportunities across the country to learn from the tried-and-true experience of solar customers who have already gone through the process of installation. Here in Montana, we had participants across the state open their homes, in-person or virtually, to demonstrate their solar systems and answer questions about the process, and the benefits. Lee Calhoun, owner of Northstone Solar, participated for the first time this year, and encouraged several solar households in his community of Whitefish to do the same. Calhoun recently built his home with solar, storage, and energy efficiency in mind and…
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