Bozeman, MT - The City of Bozeman’s solar energy growth is highlighted in a new report, landing it among the nation’s leaders for installing clean energy from the sun.
“Cities like Bozeman are leading the way to a future powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Skye Borden with Environment Montana. “By tapping into more of our vast solar energy potential, we can benefit from cleaner air and fight climate change.”
Shining Cities is the fifth annual report from Environment Montana Research & Policy Center. Each year, the survey ranks nearly 70 of the nation’s major cities by megawatts of solar energy. This year, the report also includes highlights from smaller communities, like Bozeman, that show outstanding potential for solar growth.
Bozeman’s per capita solar capacity falls just ahead of Fort Collins, CO, and behind Santa Fe, NM and Tucson, AZ, as of year-end 2017. Recently, the city partnered with NorthWestern Energy to build a solar array at the city’s water reclamation facility, complete with an online dashboard that displays the project’s real-time solar generation.
“Bozeman recognizes that clean solar energy helps to preserve our outdoor recreation economy, quality of life, and community resiliency,” said Mayor Cindy Andrus. “We are committed to expanding solar energy opportunities at the utility-scale and the local-level. We are streamlining our solar permitting processes, offering small grants to businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and working alongside our utility to advance community solar.”
The report, Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, shows that the top 20 solar cities, comprising just 0.1 percent of the country’s land mass, account for 4 percent of U.S. solar capacity.
“We are in a moment when progress on renewable energy will come from cities across the country,” said Borden with Environment Montana. “More local leaders should follow Bozeman’s lead and start plugging their communities into the clean and virtually limitless power of the sun.”