NorthWestern Energy - PV Systems for Fire Stations

March 31, 2005


Since 2003, as part of NorthWestern Energy’s Fire Station Solar Electric Demonstration project, twelve Montana fire stations have each received a 2-kW photovoltaic system, at no cost. The systems are grid-tied and include batteries and performance-monitoring components. This program is administered by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) using funds collected from NorthWestern Energy's electric customers as part of the NorthWestern Energy's Universal Systems Benefits (USB) program. The stations accept full ownership of the system and full responsibility for system maintenance. Participating stations must fully insure the system against damage for a 20-year period. No additional funding will be available from NCAT or NorthWestern Energy after the system is installed and operational. The primary objectives of this project are: - to allow stations to generate their own electricity utilizing renewable energy resources; - to provide community demonstrations of PV systems at work; and - to provide the stations with un-interruptible power supply. Participating stations must host an Open House within six months of installation and host at least one Open House per year for six years to educate the broader community about how the system works. Open Houses will be advertised in local newspapers with public service announcements, as well as posted on the appropriate Internet websites.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Utility
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Montana
Incentive Type: Rebate Program
Web Site:
Administrator: National Center for Appropriate Technology
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
Incentive Amount: 100% of system cost
Maximum Incentive: 12 systems installed


Name: John Walden
Organization: National Center for Appropriate Technology
Address: 3040 Continental Drive
Butte MT 59701
Phone: (866) 723-8677

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.