NorthWestern Energy | Bozeman | MSU: R&D Pilot Project

Research & Development Pilot Solar Photovoltaic Project

Bozeman, Montana, USA

The Bozeman Solar Project is a partnership with the City of Bozeman, Montana State University, and NorthWestern Energy. Located on approximately 2.1 acres of land, the Bozeman Solar project provides renewable energy to power over 60 homes. This project has been designed to evaluate long-term sustainable models for the integration of renewable energy, while providing the City of Bozeman with data to better understand how they can meet their community climate action plan. Montana State University is using the project for senior design research.

This grid-connected project uses an array of ground-mounted photovoltaic panels, smart inverters, and an automation controller to understand how inverter functions can be used to better integrate with the grid. The project also involves the installation of advanced metering that captures 15-minute interval data on 40 residential customers, 20 commercial customers, and 1 industrial customer to help understand how solar output aligns with user energy consumption. Data is streamed to a project dashboard that is visible to the public. Also, two panels with micro-inverters and adjustable racking allows the entire array to be modeled as if it were at a different orientation. This orientation modeling is one of Montana State University’s senior design projects.

  • Land Area: 2.1 acres
  • Solar DC Capacity: 385.92 kW
  • Smart Inverter AC Capacity: 330 kW
  • Estimated Production: 533,000 kWhs/Year
  • 1,152 – 335W Suniva Solar Panels
  • 11 – 30kW SMA Tripower Inverters
  • 2 – Enphase Micro Inverters
  • 1 – SEL RTAC Automation Controller
  • Town of Bozeman & Northwestern Energy
    Community Solar Website

    Community Solar Website

    Daily Overview

    Historical Site Data