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Northern Plains Harvests Sun on South Side of Billings


The Northern Plains Resource Council

The Northern Plains Resource Council has installed a 9.9 kilowatt grid-tied photovoltaic system on its new office building, Home on the Range, in Billings . The system generates approximately 35 percent the electricity powering the lights, computers, office machines, appliances and other equipment in the building. The estimated output is 1,200 kwh monthly.

Installed by Sundance Solar Systems of Red Lodge, the system consists of:

  • 64 Sharp NE-165U1, 165-watt polycrystalline modules;
  • One Sunny Boy 3800UL 240-volt, 3800 watt grid-tie inverter;
  • One Sunny Boy 6000UL 240-volt 6000 watt grid-tie inverter;
  • Two Sunny Boy 600 Vdc disconnects.

Located on a main thoroughfare into downtown Billings , Home on the Range also features recycled and salvaged materials, energy efficient heating and cooling, composting toilets, waterless urinals, and water-wise landscaping.

"We are extremely proud of our new office and look forward to it serving as a model of energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy," said Mark Fix, Northern Plains Chair.

Northern Plains partnered with WORC (Western Organization of Resource Councils) to renovate an old, vacant neighborhood grocery store into an energy efficient and sustainable office building. The project has recycled or reused 95 percent of the original building material.

Northern Plains expects Home on the Range to receive the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification for a commercial building in Montana.

NorthWestern Energy provided an incentive payment to partially fund the photovoltaic system.

Northern Plains Resource Council is a grassroots conservation and family agriculture group that organizes Montana citizens to protect water quality, family farms and ranches, and Montana 's unique quality of life.

WORC is a network of grassroots organizations from seven states that include 9,500 members and 45 local community groups. WORC helps its members succeed by providing training and by coordinating regional issue campaigns. Northern Plains is a member of WORC.

Home on the Range is located at 220 S. 27 th Street, Billings, Montana. For more information, call 406-248-1154 or visit www.northernplains.org.

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