66 Solar Panels Installed on First UMC Missoula, MT Roof

May 10, 2023
FUMC Missoula, MT
Photo courtesy Sander Tollefson
By Sherry Devlin

What an amazing sight! A hardworking crew from Missoula’s SBS Solar installed 66 solar panels atop First Church’s Education Annex – enough to provide at least 80 percent of our building’s electricity.

Work remains to complete the electrical connections, a city inspection, and our building’s new connection to NorthWestern Energy’s power grid. (We will use both our own solar-generated electricity and send any excess onto the grid for other buildings to use.)

Many, many thanks to everyone who contributed so generously of their time and money to bring Missoula’s oldest Protestant church into the clean energy future. What a remarkable achievement. We didn’t even begin this project until January, and we’re about to begin electric generation!

Special thanks to NorthWestern Energy, which awarded First UMC Missoula an E+ Renewable Energy Grant of $46,323 for the project. That funding combined with a $1,000 grant from the UMC’s Mountain Sky Conference, $1,500 from SBS Solar, and $18,353 in contributions from our incredible congregation paid for the entire cost of the installation. We will own the system free and clear from Day One.

September should bring our first days of solar-power generation AND a big Sunday morning celebration. We’ll invite local media, all our downtown neighbors, NorthWestern Energy, SBS Solar, our many contributors, and the entire First UMC congregation. Let the sunshine!