AERO’s annual energy tours highlight energy conservation practices and renewable energy projects that make sense for home owners, small businesses, local governments, farmers, and ranchers. See wind turbines, solar panels, and efficiency projects up close. Talk to renewable energy dealers and installers. Learn how to finance energy projects with grants, loans, and tax credits. Meet people who are excited about conservation and renewable energy. This year AERO is partnering with NorthWestern Energy, the Department of Environmental Quality, SolarPlexus, Sundance Solar Systems, the Montana Renewable Energy Association, and Carbon County Resource Council to showcase projects around the state.
Townsend Thursday July 14th 2011
Highlights: Our Townsend Energy Tour will feature a variety of energy efficient retrofits and renewable energy systems undertaken by the Townsend School District. The school has a biomass boiler to burn wood pellets as part of the Fuels for Schools program through the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. And last year they installed a 2.4 kilowatt wind turbine as a part of the Wind for Schools Program. The tour includes a grid-tied solar array and a number of cost and energy saving retrofits within the school, including upgrades in lighting and windows. Learn about incentive programs that the school used to finance these projects. The tour begins at 1:30pm, the cost is $5 and includes a light snack.
Red Lodge Thursday September 8th 2011
Co-hosted by Carbon County Resource Council
Highlights: Our Red Lodge Energy Tour will highlight several leaders in the community. The City of Red Lodge wastewater treatment plant has installed money-saving aeration blowers for its sewage lagoons as well as a photovoltaic solar panel system funded with federal stimulus funds in the forms of grants and low-interest loans. Red Lodge Ales has also taken advantage of incentive programs to “green” their brewery, which includes solar hot water and a free-air system for cooling. Not only are they brewing beer, but also brewing biodiesel to fuel their delivery trucks. We will also visit Cafe Regis and a private residence that has used passive solar design and uses water from lawn irrigation to cool the home. The tour bus leaves from Sam’s Taproom (1445 N Broadway) at 1:30pm, the cost is $10.
Philipsburg Wednesday September 21st 2011
Highlights: Join us in the Flint Creek Valley where we will see a mix of municipal, residential and commercial renewable energy projects. This tour will feature the biomass boiler at the Philipsburg school, followed by Philipsburg’s municipal hydro-power system which generates electricity for the city. We will then travel to Hall, MT where we will learn about solar shingles on a private home and solar hot water used to wash wool at Sugarloaf Wool Mill. There will be a brief seminar highlighting grants, loans, tax credits and rebates that help pay for renewable energy projects and energy conservation upgrades. The tour begins at Philipsburg Public Schools (407 Schnepel) at 9:30 am, the cost is $10.
Great Falls October Saturday October 8th 2011
Highlights: We will visit an earth-coupled home to learn about passive solar building techniques and see home wind and solar renewable energy systems. We will hear a presentation on the 58kW solar array at the Great Falls Armed Forces Reserve Center and see the 50kW wind turbine at MSU-Great Falls. Meet renewable energy installers and energy efficiency experts, learn about loans, tax credits and rebates, plus tour two inspiring projects. The tour begins in classroom B137 at MSU-Great Falls, 2100 16th Ave S at 10:00am, cost is $10.
Call the AERO office to learn more and register for any of the tours (406) 443-7272. Stay tuned for detail to come.