HELENA- Carroll College received a $48,000 incentive from NorthWestern Energy to construct what college officials say will be the largest on-campus solar photovoltaic array in Montana.
“Solar panels on campus will not only increase clean energy sources in our Helena community, but also provide student experiences in both interdisciplinary education and civic engagement,”said Carroll College President John Cech.
The 38-kilowatt array will be installed on the roof of the Campus Center and will generate nearly $6,000 worth of electricity annually.
The project is the result of a collaboration between Carroll College, the Sleeping Giant Citizens Council and Helena Vigilante Runners.
Funding was made possible through the NorthWestern Energy Efficiency Plus Renewable Energy Program.
Carroll College Associate Professor Alex Street said the project not only is good for the campus but a great opportunity for the students to learn.
“For us, this is a great educational opportunity because solar energy, renewable energy, what we’re going to do, what kind of energy choices we make – that has social science implications. It has hard science implications and the students learn about fundraising,” said Street.
Additional funds for the project will be raised through the second Helena Sun Run on Saturday at 10 a.m.
If enough funds are raised at the event, the solar Array will be increased to a 50-kilowatt installation.
This is the second the second successful collaboration between the Sleeping Giant Citizens Council, the Helena Vigilante Runners, and a Helena non-profit organization.
The first partnership was with the Lewis and Clark Library which resulted in the installation of a 50-kilowatt solar panel array on the Helena library in 2017, followed by the installation of smaller solar arrays on the Lincoln and Augusta libraries in 2018.
Story by John Riley, MTN News