Fergus Electric Coop Solar Garden, Lewistown, MT
Fergus Electric Cooperative (FEC) in Lewistown, Montana selected Bozeman-based solar company, Independent Power Systems, via a competitive bid process, to install their first ‘Solar Garden’, a 107 kilowatt ground mounted solar PV system.
Solar garden panels were sold to FEC’s customers on a first come first serve basis. FEC customers could purchase as many panels as they desired (at a cost of $595 each) and are credited on their power bill each month for the retail energy value the panels produce.
IPS installed the system summer 2017; it has been operational as of August 2017.
FEC administration reports: The system is performing to specification and all concerned are pleased with how it came out.
A June 2018 update from FEC staff:
I’m happy to report that our solar array is humming along quietly generating electricity. Since the array was first energized on August 4, 2017 it has generated 113 MWh. The TV monitor is on every day and members and staff both enjoy seeing the activity displayed on the monitor. We are very pleased with the work the IPS team did to install the 324-panel system! The solar array is very popular.
The system consists of  330 watt monocrystalline QCells modules, two 50kW Solectria inverters and the custom IPS ground mount structure built using Iron Ridge rails.
Each panel is projected to produce 450 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. The Co-op will credit 10 cents per kWh , which makes an annual credit of about $45 per year.