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Installation Work Begins on Bozeman Solar Project

Aug 11, 2016

Butte, Mont. – August 11, 2016 – The installation of solar panels and other equipment is under way at the Bozeman Solar Project, which is the product of a partnership between NorthWestern Energy, the City of Bozeman and Montana State University.

The project is located at 93 Moss Bridge Road in Bozeman. The 2.3-acre site is on property owned by the City of Bozeman near its water reclamation facility, which is just north of Interstate 90 near the 19th Street exit.

Onsite Energy of Bozeman was selected in a competitive process as the general contractor to engineer, procure and construct the solar photovoltaic system. The project is expected to be complete in late September. A public ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held when the project nears completion.

The pilot project is designed to have energy output of about 533,000 kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power about 54 homes. The project will be tied to the power grid operated by NorthWestern Energy. Along with solar photovoltaic panels and smart inverters, the project will also involve the installation of 40 residential and 20 commercial advanced meters to help the project partners better understand how solar power aligns with customer needs.

“We are looking forward to better understanding sustainable community solar models,” said Jon Shafer, NorthWestern’s project manager.

The project will also help the City of Bozeman achieve its Climate Action Plan goals and guide future renewable energy projects. “This partnership presents an opportunity to learn and innovate together to help advance long-term energy solutions,” said Natalie Meyer, sustainability program manager for the City of Bozeman.

NorthWestern has committed up to $1 million for this project and will bear the cost of building and operating the project. The City of Bozeman has agreed to provide use of the land but has no additional financial responsibility tied to the project. Montana State University will help with research tied to the five-year pilot project.

NorthWestern Energy has made a $3 million commitment to community-based renewable energy projects. With the recent addition of 11 hydroelectric facilities to NorthWestern’s generation portfolio, 60 percent of the electricity we supply to our Montana customers comes from water or wind. The company also relies on coal and natural gas to generate electricity for its roughly 360,000 Montana electric customers.

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About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 701,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.  More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at

Media Contact:
Butch Larcombe
(866) 622-8081

Community Contact:
Heather Bellamy, Manager, Community Relations
(406) 570-2092

City of Bozeman Contact:
Natalie Meyer
(406) 582-2317

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