Client ProfileThe "Home on the Range" building is home to the Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRC), Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), and Western Native Voice.
In 2003, Northern Plains and the Western Organization of Resource Councils decided to create a permanent home by purchasing and renovating an existing building. The goal was to express the organizations’ commitment to energy conservation and community values. They purchased a vacant, concrete block building constructed in 1940 as a grocery store. Working with High Plains Architects and Hardy Construction Company, they managed to transform an uninsulated, largely windowless building — widely considered one of the most blighted properties in Billings, Montana — into a demonstration of “green” building strategies and technologies. A 10 kW solar electric system was also installed by Sundance Solar Systems during the reconstruction of the building with the goal of offsetting traditional energy sources. Over the last ten years the system has offset 1/3 of the buildings energy usage.
PRODUCTION32,300 kWhs Per Year
PANELS75 Suniva 330 Watt Solar Panels
INVERTER4 SMA 5.0 US Inverters
MOUNTCustom Solar Carport
WARRANTY25 Year Power Warranty, 10 Year Installation Warranty
Northern Plains Resource Council, in conjunction with Tim Crawford of Pheasant Farms, approached OnSite Energy to design and install a solar electric system to bring the building up to 100% electrical energy offset. With the roof area already occupied by the existing solar electric system a challenge was presented on how to best incorporate a new solar array into the property. With guidance from NPRC, a solar carport was suggested and OnSite Energy researched and developed a solution that would best fit the aesthetic and functional requirements of the property. The result was a cantilevered carport design that blends well with the property layout while also providing a dual purpose of energy production and shading for the parking area.
Unique ChallengesWith limited space and architectural attributes at the forefront, the location and design of this system was of utmost importance. The end product is a result of critical input from the client, the original architect, and OnSite Energy's design team, which culminated into a new "solar landmark" within the Billings community.
Original solar array with new solar carport in background