ULM – Over the past winter, the roof of a nondescript warehouse at the Timeless Seeds processing plant in Ulm was transformed into the power house of this specialty grain and lentil business.
In December, Timeless Seeds installed an array of solar panels on the roof of the facility that is projected to cover up to 45 percent of the business’s electric bill.
The solar array is comprised of 156 individual panels with the combined potential to generate up to 50 kilowatts of power. Over the course of an average year, the solar array will generate about 65,000 kilowatt hours, more than seven times the usage of a typical household. The projected electricity output will cover 35 to 45 percent of the facility’s electric bill, saving Timeless Seeds more than $145,000 on utility bills over the 25-year life of the array.
The $75,000 solar installation was partially funded by a $40,000 loan from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. DEQ’s Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program makes low-interest loans to small businesses, government entities, non-profit organizations and individuals for solar power and other renewable technologies. A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) helped close the deal. REAP provides competitive matching grants and loan guarantees to ag and rural small businesses for installation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
“Montana has tremendous renewable energy resources, and one of the reasons we purchased this facility in 2005, was the southern exposure and solar potential of the property,” said Timeless Seeds CEO David Oien. “The REAP grant and DEQ loan helped make the dream come true of having renewable electricity power the Timeless organic processing facility.”
What: Solar project celebration and public tour of the Timeless Seeds processing plant in Ulm
When: Tuesday, April 23, 10-11:30 a.m.
Where: Timeless Seeds, 48 Ulm Vaughn Road, Ulm
DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the event. If you require an accommodation, please contact Karen Ogden at 406-444-6360 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least three days before the meeting.