GREAT FALLS – An eastern European country about the size of Idaho is turning to Montana for renewable energy solutions.
A delegation from Belarus is in central Montana looking at alternative energy sources and renewable energy. The country is currently heavily reliant on imported natural gas from Russia.
They met with a panel at the Montana Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Great Falls on Monday to discuss responsible renewable energy development.
While in Central Montana, the delegation will meet with government, business and cultural leaders, including the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, a representative from Governor Steve Bullock’s office and the Department of Commerce; representatives from the MT Congressional Delegation; the MSU Engineering Department; the MSU Northern renewable fuels laboratory; Northwestern Energy, and NaturEner wind farms among others.
Delegates say expanding energy options is crucial for Belarus.
“Energy resources are inevitable for the country’s security,” explains delegate Yuliya Fedorovna Yafremava, a consultant with the Department for Energy Efficiency of the Republic of Belarus. “We are aimed at using our own energy resources to the utmost maximum and not importing them from elsewhere.”
The Advisory Commission on International Relationships for the city of Great Falls (ACIR) will host the delegation in conjunction with the Open World Leadership Center. The ACIR has hosted many delegations throughout the past decade, most recently in 2017.
The Belarus delegation will make a presentation this Wednesday, November 14, at 1 p.m. at Great Falls College MSU in room b101. The event is free and open to the public.
–Joe Huisinga reporting for MTN News