With places like Big Sky, Montana—even though it’s a more northern state has plenty of options and space for solar power and renewable energy. Governor Steve Bullock’s (D) new plan would double the amount of solar power in the state by 2025. At that point solar could be completely cost-competitive with other energy sources.
“Montanans should determine our energy future,” said Governor Bullock. “That’s why today I’m announcing a blueprint for a balanced and responsible plan that provides good-paying jobs for Montanans, strengthens our rural communities and supports local schools, while safeguarding our quality of life.”
Governor Bullock has recently met with solar and wind developers, energy efficiency advocates, small businesses and coal workers to develop the plan. “Done right, we can drive economic growth and create and maintain good-paying jobs across Montana,” Bullock said. “We can improve our traditional base of energy generation while sparking a new generation of clean technology business, moving us toward more renewable energy, and encouraging innovation, savings, and energy efficiency for homes and for businesses.”
The new plan will create a funding mechanism to establish an energy infrastructure authority as recommended by the Energy and Utilities Key Industry Network (Main Street Montana Project), the Governor’s office said. It also will work with the Department of Energy to increase the state’s opportunities to deliver electricity to out-of-state markets. The state also will work with tribes, utilities, co-ops, and U.S. Department of Energy to develop solar power in Indian Country.
The state plans to work with the private sector to finance projects by leveraging private capital to finance smaller scale solar developments and public solar projects. It also will have its Departments of Natural Resources and Conservation, Environmental Quality, and Transportation review their lands to identify suitable properties for potential solar projects.
the state also will take on energy efficiency causes with the blueprint. It plans to reduce the state’s overall electric energy use by 10 percent by 2025 and propose a $5 million revolving fund in the 2017 legislative session and make it accessible to schools and local governments for energy conservation projects. It also will reduce the backlog of low-income weatherization needs for low-income households with higher energy costs than the Montana average.Tweet