The clouds parted and there was sunshine for a while Thursday morning. It was right on time for a celebration of solar power in the Bitterroot Valley.

Located next to a new Ravalli Electric Co-op (REC) substation, Valley Solar had a grand opening Thursday morning, May 26. Attending were the first co-op members to purchase panels, who heard from guest speakers John Walsh of USDA, REC General Manager Mark Grotbo and Montana Governor Steve Bullock.

The two long rows of solar panels north of Woodside are already generating power for REC customers.

The installation is the third community solar program in the state and co-op members have purchased output from all but about 20 panels of the 176 panel system.

The governor congratulated REC members for their successful venture into solar power.