Off-Grid Solar Solutions
Hybrid Solar Systems-
We design and install off-grid solar solutions throughout NW Montana for homes and cabins that are designed to work for your needs and your energy usage profile.
NW Montana and the Flathead valley can offer unique energy obstacles, and we have designed a process to make those obstacles a thing of the past with product designed to bring today's convenience to your remote location.
Do you have an existing system? Has it been installed and running for several years? We can service your existing equipment or integrate newer equipment into your system.
What is a hybrid system?
A hybrid solar system is connected to the grid, but can utilize batteries and solar when the grid goes down. If your power supply is down often and for substantional periods, a hybrid system may be for you.
Can you live off the grid in Montana?- Yes, in fact with a off-grid solar you mainly utilize the batteries on the system that can be sized with a solar array to the needs of your family and home. Most of our systems are designed with a generator as well to help assist the batteries through long cloudy winter days. The generator typically only turns on for 20-50 days of the year for only a couple hours at a time.
How big of a solar system do i need to go off grid?- That depends on you and your appliances. We design small systems for homes that only use small amounts of electricity for lights and basic appliances, and we design systems for high end homes that you would never know had no utility lines to the home.
Typically an average off-grid system has a need for a 15kW solar system and 10kWh's of battery storage. These are often coupled with a small propane generator with automatic start functionality.
How much does an off grid solar system cost?- System size and battery technology dictate much of the cost of an off-grid solar system in NW Montana. A 15kW solar array with 10kWh's of storage in 20 year Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, the average cost is $33,000.00 after the 26% Federal Tax Credit.
What is the payback on a off-grid system?- We try to not think of off-grid as having a payback period, as we never ask that question when we connect to the grid. However, if you compared it to the grid, a 15kW solar/ 10kWh Battery system produces around 19,500kWh annually. If you stretch that out 20 years for the battery life, that's 390,000kWh.
If you bought that same electricity from the utility at Montana's average rate of $0.11/kWh, you would pay $42,900 before considering inflation, meter fees, and any connection costs.
Additional Utility Charges-
Basic Charges- $23 per month= $5,520
Inflation Costs on Meter and kWh rate= $26,000
Utility Trench in Costs= $750-100,000
TOTAL UTILITY COSTS= $75,170- $174,420
TOTAL SOLAR COSTS= $33,000
When thinking about costs, you can think of going off the grid as pre-purchasing your electricity for the next 20 years at a discounted rate.
Where is off-grid solar a good choice?- As demonstrated above, anyone going off the grid will save money, and when you consider some locations require large expenses to just get the utility lines to the home, and in those cases solar is by far the least expensive way to go and often costs less than the hook-up fees from the utility.
Additional Information- https://www.flatheadelectric.com/account/rates-service-fees/