• Solar Expert

Solar Doesn't Work in Montana!?

Ok, so we happen to be a solar installer and we are saying they don't work in MT. Nope, they work great in MT but we have lots of conversations with folks, and some of them have misinformation or are not educated on the great potential solar energy has in Northwest Montana.

Snow on Solar Panels on home
Snow melts off panels quicker than the roof. Flathead Valley

Faraday solar has a network of employees and owners that have worked in almost every part of the country and installed or designed systems as far South as New Mexico & Arizona, as well as far north as Montana, Massachusetts, and Minnesota near the Canadian Border. In each of these locations, solar has great potential and all locations have their downfalls, but none outweigh the financial, economical, sustainable, or practical benefits.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has great resources for renewable energy and any reputable company will use sources like the NREL to provide expected system production numbers like those from PVwatts V2, when providing you a solar quote.

There are 3 typical statements made about solar energy's "inability" to work in Montana or the Flathead Valley.

  1. It snows in MT.- True. but it also does in most of the highest solar productive areas in the US, like MN, NY, CO, etc. Germany leads the world in solar energy and it has a worse solar resource than any part of the lower continental United States. Snow melts off the panels relatively quickly and a good installation company will design a system with product that could help accelerate that process. Plus- snow is figured into the financial and energy production analyses.

  2. It's too cold in our area to produce a lot of energy.- This one is actually the complete opposite. Solar panels perform far better in cold climates, because the temperature is a direct relationship with voltage. The colder it is the higher the voltage the solar panel operates at. However, the cold is also in conjunction with shorter sun hours, so it may produce more real time energy, but it simply does not have the time of day to producer as well as, lets say, June 21st (summer solstice).

  3. Solar is too expensive and takes too long to pay for itself.- Well..... how long will it take you to pay off your electric bill? Ok, maybe that was a little aggressive, sorry. Really though, not producing your own electricity is like leasing a car the rest of your life vs. buying a car, or truck. Solar does not have to be a large upfront cost, however that does provide your best ROI. If you take into account home or business value increase as well as the energy production, systems pay for themselves with 1-3 years.

Solar is very reliable and has been around for decades now, and with economies of scale globally, it is affordable, reliable, and a better choice than the status quo, of continuing to rent your electricity from the utility. Solar may not be able to take care of all your energy needs but, it will have a significant impact. Plus it helps the environment.

If you'd like to see what solar would impact your site, contact us for a free analysis.

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