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Ravalli EDA Lets the Sun In

solar panels
Sunelco's Cole, Tommy and Jannelle finish up installation of new solar panels on the Entrepreneurship Center. (KLYQ Photo)

The Ravalli Entrepreneurship Center has turned a little more green. Friday, a team from Sunelco Sun Electric Company, led by owner Tom Bishop, secured new solar panels to the roof.

The Ravalli County Economic Development Authority applied for and received a grant from NorthWestern Energy’s Green Sense program to add the long row of solar panels to the south-facing roof of the Center to help reduce energy costs.

The grant, worth $27,665, paid for the panels and associated equipment. Sunelco, based in Victor, donated over $4,400 in labor costs to install the 26 panels.

The system will produce over 7,000 kilowatt hours per year and will be fed back into the power grid. It’s estimated the new system will save the RCEDA about $1,000 annually in energy costs, according to John Schneeberger, Economic Development Specialist.

The buiilding was opened in 2009 and includes offices of Bitterroot Job Service and the Bitterroot College, along with the Economic Development Authority offices.

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