Solar electric and renewable energy power systems
Electricity from the Sun

Much more than ever expected
The installers were neat, polite and professional. They even helped my wife clean a hard to reach window and demonstrated their work for a local college class. The bid was spot on and the office was responsive and very professional.

Dennis Daneke

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Flat Roof, Ballasted, Residential Solar PV with Solar thermal, Rock Creek, MT
Flat Roof, Ballasted, Residential Solar PV with Solar thermal, Rock Creek, MT

SBS Solar completed our 11.2kW Solar PV system on our home up Rock Creek in the fall of 2010. It is comprised of 52 Sharp 216 modules and Enphase M190 microinverters. We are pleased to report that the system has produced 23.2 Megawatt hours since it was installed in the fall of 2010.

In order to accommodate our flat roof and the arced shape of our home, SBS Solar built a custom ballast mounting structure for the racking. They employed 3D modeling to strategically place all the modules around the roof to avoid shading throughout the year.

SBS Solar did have to replace one faulty microinverter, which they found while monitoring our system using the enlightened website. Their team, with very little down time, replaced the inverter quickly and efficiently.

We are pleased with the work SBS Solar completed on our home, and their attention to details during the design, installation and monitoring stages. We would recommend them for larger solar projects on home or business.

Roy and Susan O’Connor

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Photovoltaic Solar Electric System Dillon Montana
Wisdom Ranger Station Solar Electric System Dillon Montana.

Sustainable Building Systems, LLC recently completed the installation of 4 kW, grid-tied PV systems at three of our District Ranger Stations. Two of the systems were roof-mounted arrays and the third system had pole mounted arrays. The project was “turn-key” and included all necessary components and work for complete and operational systems.

I have been very satisfied with all aspects of this project. Sustainable Building System’s project proposal was detailed and thorough. All components that they proposed met our specifications.

Their personnel were highly qualified, professional, and very good to work with. They did a good job of communicating with me as well as the local staffs at each of the Ranger Stations.

They also did a good job of coordinating with their subcontractors and the utility companies serving the sites. The workmanship by Sustainable Building Systems and their subcontractors was done in a quality manner with little oversight by the Forest Service. The project was completed on-time without any change orders and within the original contract amount.

Based on my experience with Sustainable Building Systems on this project, I would welcome the opportunity to work with them again.

Mark Libby
Facilities Engineer
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

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Dear SBS Solar:

Solar PV Pergoal Missoula MT
Solar PV Pergoal Missoula MT

I’m writing to share my great experience with your company and my 100% solar-powered home. In the fall of 2011, SBS installed a 24 panel, 6 kW, grid-tied solar PV system at my home in central Missoula. Because my house had additions, I don’t have one flat surface for the panels, so SBS hired subcontractors to design and install a covered back porch structure for the panels. I started producing all of my own power in the early spring and now in the summer am producing 50% morepower than I need. I will receive a credit for this extra power and it will mitigatethe power use in December or January when I might be producing as little as 30%of own my power.

100% Solar powered electric car, from home Solar PV system in Missoula, Montana
100% Solar powered electric car, from home Solar PV system in Missoula, Montana

I recently installed more efficient appliances, and thus I will probably produce more power than I use this year. This surplus of power led me to decide to lease a 100% electric car, which will be 100% solar-powered car for at least 6 or 8 months out of the year.

I felt compelled to act because we can’t afford to ignore the signs of climate change or the role we play in it. I feel a moral obligation to reduce my carbon footprint, to protect biodiversity and protect the planet for future generations. Can you imagine the reduction of coal and oil consumption we could achieve if every family in Western Montana had a solar-powered home and solar-powered electric car? Maybe mega-loads, tar sands mining, and Otter Creek coal mining would all become unnecessary. The technology is available and ready for this now in Western Montana.

The cost breakdown for my solar system:

COSTS INCLUDING STRUCTURE:

Materials and installation for PV system: $28,570
New back porch structure:$8,640
Engineering of structure:$1,643
City building permit for structure:$285
Relocation of power/gas lines for structure:$3,605
Electric panel relocation:$620
GROSS Total:$43,363

Northwestern Energy Grant ($6,000)
Federal Tax Credit($11,208)
State Tax Credit($500)
NET Total including structure:$25,655

 

COSTS EXCLUDING STRUCTURE:
Materials and installation for PV system: $28,570
Northwestern Energy Grant ($6,000)
State Tax Credit($500)
Federal Tax Credit($8,625)
NET Total excluding structure:$13,625

So essentially, the solar system had a net cost of less than $14,000 for 100% annual power.

The system will eventually pay itself off and then the power I use in my home and the “fuel” I use for my car will be free. While this is certainly a meaningful reward, for me the bigger reward is knowing that my decision to choose an alternative to coal and oil is a concrete physical step toward a safer planet for future generations. As Terry Tempest Williams has said: “The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come.”

Thank you for the important work you are doing.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Smith
(contact info withheld to maintain customer privacy.)