Big-time solar in Big Sky, Montana

Mere weeks before the winter solstice, OnSite Energy of Bozeman, Montana flipped the switch on its latest installation. The 8.1 kW solar system came to life and, with it, an excited customer joyously waiting for the long days of summer.

SMA Solar Spotlight - Sunny Boy TL-US

Green light on, solar power coming in. The Sunny Boy TL-US shortly after commissioning.

OnSite Energy first met with the customer during a drop in to its shop, where they discussed the differences between mono and polycrystalline modules and the range of system design capabilities. After looking at the home’s historical energy usage and considering future plans for a new heating system, a site visit was in order to work out the final details.

Solar for today and tomorrow

Big Sky, Montana, known for world-class skiing, is bitter cold. Heating demands over the eight-month winter are the largest factor in determining system size, requiring Onsite to fill the roof above the south-facing garage to the brim with solar. Covering it are 27 300-watt LG modules feeding DC power to a Sunny Boy 7700TL-US with Secure Power Supply, the newest and largest size in the inverter family.

The mix of high-efficiency modules and inverter made the best use of space for the system while creating more than 10,000 kWh annually to fully offset the home’s energy demands. The Sunny Boy TL-US boasts a range of features making it the ideal solution: maximum power capability for a 200-amp service panel, dual-channel input and stringing capabilities matched with OptiTrac Global Peak to mitigate shading from a lone plumbing vent and, or course, Secure Power Supply.

“The Sunny Boy TL-US with Secure Power Supply was the full inverter solution for this job,” said Conor Darby, OnSite Energy partner. “Everything is easily and reliably taken care of, all the way from the minor shade from the vent stack to the ease of installation and the ability to work at full power despite anything Montana throws at the system.”

SMA Solar Spotlight - OnSite Power Montana

Another view with the equally gorgeous solar system in front of the Madison Mountains.

Solar is the future

Hedging against future increases in utility rates, OnSite’s customer knew solar energy would be the most cost-effective way to power the home. Given the relatively young age of the building, its owners wanted a system that would stand the test of time along with the rest of the home.

“The future of solar is so strong and our team could truly see it during this install,” Darby continued. “Going solar for clean energy and to lower long-term electrical costs is a win-win and we’re ecstatic to see people in Montana continuing to invest in renewable energy. We have a beautiful state; let’s keep it that way.”

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