Posted: Apr 16, 2011 4:23 PM by Erin Schermele (KPAX News)
Updated: Apr 16, 2011 8:21 PM
MISSOULA- The University of Montana flat house got an energy upgrade Saturday: It became the first University building with solar panels.
The flat teamed up with Montana's electrical JETC program and the local electricians' union to make this an education project.
Northwestern Energy donated all of the materials. Journey men and electrician apprentices got a hands-on experience, learning how to install the panels.
UM flat outreach coordinator Zachary Brown said this is a big step for the house and the University.
"The fact that we're able to use this site and this solar panel installation as a continuing education basically project for all of these electricians is perfect and fits with out mission."Said Brown.
Once the installation is complete, they will send a direct energy measurement to a box on the flat's breaker which will record the exact dollar amount the flat is saving on its energy bill.
Brown said the panels should generate about fifty percent of the house's needed energy.