Fergus Electric Cooperative (FEC) selected the Bozeman-based solar company Independent Power via a competitive bid process, to install its first ‘Solar Garden’, a 107-kilowatt ground-mounted solar PV system. The project is located on land adjacent to the FEC’s headquarters outside Lewistown, MT. This allows the Cooperative to expand the project should there be sufficient interest for additional future phases.
Solar garden panels were sold to FEC’s customers on a first come first serve basis. FEC customers could purchase as many solar panels as they desired (limited by household annual energy consumption and at a cost of $595 each) and are credited on their power bill each month for the retail energy value the panels produce. The approximate payment for the FEC system is 9.4 years. IPS installed the system in summer 2017; it has been operational as of August 2017.
FEC administration reports: “The system is performing to specification and all concerned are pleased with how it came out.”
FEC is considering a second phase of their cooperative solar program. If you are an FEC member and are interested in participating in a future cooperative solar program, please contact them to be added to the list of interested members.
“I’M HAPPY TO REPORT THAT OUR SOLAR ARRAY IS HUMMING ALONG QUIETLY GENERATING ELECTRICITY. SINCE THE ARRAY WAS FIRST ENERGIZED ON AUGUST 4, 2017 IT HAS GENERATED 113 MWH. THE TV MONITOR IS ON EVERY DAY AND MEMBERS AND STAFF BOTH ENJOY SEEING THE ACTIVITY DISPLAYED ON THE MONITOR. WE ARE VERY PLEASED WITH THE WORK THE IPS TEAM DID TO INSTALL THE 324-PANEL SYSTEM! THE SOLAR ARRAY IS VERY POPULAR.”