Montana is located in the northwest of the United States. It is one of the eight Mountain states of the USA. Area-wise, it is the fourth largest state and in terms of population, it is the seventh-least populous state. Since it is a sparsely-populated state, the sky can be observed infinitely in Montana. Hence, it is known as the Big Sky Country.
Montana is committed to preserving its natural wilderness and one way to do that is by switching to environment-friendly sources of energy production. Despite being situated in the northern area of the country, the state receives an average of five peak sun hours every day. Hence, the potential for energy generation through photovoltaic solar systems is quite high in Montana.
Montana’s generation potential is estimated at 8,000 terawatt-hours of solar energy annually, whereas the current consumption is estimated at 14 terawatt-hours of electricity, which is the second-highest per capita rate of energy consumption across all states. Hence, the true generation potential exceeds the requirement by a large margin.
The rooftops in Montana can accommodate 3,200 MW of solar panels and the energy produced by them could provide 28% of Montana’s current electric consumption.
Solar Friendly Legislation in Montana
The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in Montana states that all utilities in Montana are required to meet at least 15% of their energy requirements from renewable technologies.
According to Montana law, consumers will receive full retail value for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy their solar system produces. However, this law applies to solar systems that are capped at 10 kW. For systems higher than 10 kW, the excess generation is rolled over every month, but once a year it is not accounted for.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
The Federal Solar Tax Credit applies to both commercial and residential units. Through this incentive, solar customers can reclaim up to 22% of the installation cost of their solar system.
Property Tax Exemption
Those buildings where solar system is installed are exempt from property tax for ten years after the installation. This means that no additional property tax is charged, although the solar system increases the value of the building.
The following statistics provide a glimpse of the state of solar energy in Montana:
- Solar Installed (MW): 122.7
- National Ranking: 43rd (46th in 2021)
- Percentage of State’s Electricity from Solar: 0.32%
- Solar Jobs: 288
- Solar Companies in State: 28 (5 Manufacturers, 19 Installers/Developers, 4 Others)
- Total Solar Investment in State: 171 million
- Prices have fallen 4% over the last 5 years
- Growth Projection and Ranking: 567 MW over the next 5 years (ranks 40th)
- Number Of Installations: 2,656
Need for Solar Panel Recycling Solutions in Montana
Montana is making multiple efforts to tap its true potential for solar generation. Ambitious targets and solar-friendly legislation have placed Montana on a path to achieving energy sufficiency through the use of solar energy.
However, the rapid proliferation of photovoltaic technology also raises the alarming question about the decommissioning and disposal of end-of-life solar panels. Most experts agree that recycling old solar panels is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly waste disposal option for solar waste.
If you are looking for decommissioning of solar systems or large-scale solar panel recycling solutions in Montana, contact We Recycle Solar. We provide recycling solutions for solar panels, batteries, and other equipment. Our processes are safe, efficient, and compliant with all federal and state laws.
Looking for decommissioning or large-scale Montana solar panel recycling solutions?
Unless otherwise noted, all data from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight