Success Stories

Pilot Projects
Calm Animal Care Installed a photovoltaic system that reduces power costs and provides needed reliability for equipment and operations during outages.
City of Boise, Idaho Built a district heat system that supplies heat and hot water to over 55 businesses in downtown Boise.
City of Boulder, Colorado Incorporated eight hydroelectric generators into the city’s municipal water system that provide enough electricity to support 18% of city residential electricity needs.
City of Kalispell Utilizes methane generated by the wastewater treatment process as a heat source that displaces natural gas, which would cost roughly $30,000 annually.
Audited lift stations and identified energy and cost savings that will be achieved through upgrading and consolidating old stations.
Installed roundabouts at several intersections around Kalispell, which are saving traffic signal energy and operation costs, while increasing safety.
City of Midland, South Dakota Installed geothermal heating systems in elementary and high schools over 30 years ago that have helped keep the annual utility costs for the district down to about $10,000.
City of Whitefish Signed a power purchase agreement with Flathead Electric to help finance the refurbishment of a city hydroelectric project.
Built the new Police and Fire Building to utilize solar hot water and radiant floors to reduce energy use in the truck bay.
Clearwater Biological Will be supplying its locally produced biodiesel to City Service Valcon.
Community Action Partnership Received a grant to implement 20 pilot solar hot water heating projects.
Flathead County Landfill Landfill Gas to Energy project built at the Flathead County Landfill has been generating power from methane gas (that was previously flared with no benefit) for between 900-1,500 households at a cost to Flathead Electric of roughly 5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Flathead Electric Cooperative Smart meter pilot project is underway and will provide data on how information and controls can improve energy demand and time of use decisions. Installed a geothermal heat pump on its premises, proving the viability of the technology for commercial/industrial facilities.
Flathead Electric Cooperative Installed a geothermal heat pump on its headquarters, proving the viability of the technology for commercial/industrial facilities.
Glacier High School Installed a biomass boiler that uses hog fuel – shredded and ground wood fibers – to heat the high school. It costs the school roughly $53,000 less than meeting heat demand with natural gas.
Huls Dairy Provides all of its on-site power from methane produced in a digester.
Turnbull Hydroelectric The Greenfields Irrigation District partnered with Northwestern Energy and the State to install 15 MW of generation in an existing irrigation canal.
Whistler Blackcomb Installed a 7.9 MW turbine in the snowmaking water collection system.
Energy-Efficient Building Projects
Apgar Transit Center Uses passive design to minimize heating and lighting energy needs, native plants to minimize irrigation energy and water needs, and high performance building materials and systems. All strategies helped the building earn LEED certification.
Community Action Partnership Administers a Weatherization program that provides free materials, labor, and technical assistance to help low income residents reduce home heating costs.
Flathead County Completed major facility retrofits through a performance contract with Johnson Controls that will save $161,000 annual energy and operations costs.
Flathead County, and the Cities of Kalispell and Whitefish Harnessed Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funding to implement facility upgrades saving taxpayer money on energy and operation costs.
Four hospitals in the state of Montana (in Missoula, Browning, & Fort Harrison) Currently participating in the American Society for Healthcare Engineering’s Energy Efficiency Commitment (E2C) challenge to health care facility managers to encourage them to measure, report, and reduce energy use through Energy Star certification.
Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley Is in the early stages of pursuing Energy Star ratings on a new 16-unit development in Columbia Falls.
General Public Many residents, through audit and incentive programs, have upgraded the efficiency of their homes, improving comfort and cost performance.
Kalispell Regional Medical Center Adopted a Strategic Energy Management Plan that has led to a roughly 20% reduction in energy use and reduced costs from over $1.2 million to roughly $850,000 per year.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) Earned LEED certification for its Kalispell office, making it the first State of Montana owned facility to do so. Many of the lighting and ventilation strategies used to save energy create a better space for occupants.
Plum Creek Installed a voltage monitoring and optimization system that generates savings of roughly $150,000 per year.
Saddlehorn Is an energy efficient subdivision built using design strategies intended primarily to enhance the character of the community.
State of Montana Adoption of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code is driving down energy costs (15-18% beyond previous energy code) in new buildings.
The Summit Medical Fitness Center Is retrofitting electronics and lighting at a cost that will be recovered by energy savings within one year.
Whitefish Housing Authority Provides energy efficient units for low-income residents.
Incentive Programs
City of Missoula and Northwestern Energy Collaborated to establish the Green Blocks program to audit and retrofit many homes in geographic proximity in order to harness economies of scale with the program.
Flathead Electric Cooperative Energy Fix Home Audit program is providing free assistance to homeowners in identifying cost effective home improvements.
Devised a new, tiered block rate structure to provide incentives for conservation and for fair allocation of fixed costs and marginal power supply costs.
Flathead Electric Cooperative and Northwestern Energy Incentives offered by both FEC and Northwestern Energy have been enabling many residents to retrofit their homes and businesses and save energy costs.
Lewis & Clark County, MT and Northwestern Energy Is starting a commercial audit and incentive program in conjunction with Northwestern Energy, using an EPA grant that will target small commercial facilities.
Infrastructure Improvements
City of Kalispell Has audited lift stations and identified energy and cost savings that will be achieved through upgrading and consolidating old stations.
City of Whitefish The Fish Trails system has provided miles of trails to pedestrians and cyclists within the City of Whitefish.  Plans are in place to expand the network to over 40 miles of trails.
Flathead County Has been optimizing and downsizing its vehicle fleet in order to have appropriate vehicles for their intended use, yielding fuel cost savings to County taxpayers.
Flathead County Trails Plan has laid a framework for a continuous and comprehensive trail network in the Flathead.
Flathead County, Glacier National Park, and MT DOT Partnered to provide free shuttle services within Glacier National Park in order to reduce personal vehicle use, saving visitors costs, and reducing congestion and increasing safety in the park.
Flathead Electric Cooperative Has already upgraded meters in its service territory to advanced meters that allow for automatic readings, thus saving energy and costs of reading meters.
Job Creation and Training
Algae AquaCulture Technologies Built a commercial scale greenhouse at Stoltze Land and Lumber to use wood waste and waste heat to grow algae and produce methane, electricity, and high quality organic fertilizer.
Blackfoot Community College Installed a wind turbine on campus that reduces electricity costs by roughly 50% and provides onsite renewable energy training opportunities.
School District 5, Flathead Valley Community College, and Flathead Electric Cooperative Student Built Homes Project is a collaboration between local high schools, FVCC, and Flathead Electric that is allowing students to get hands-on construction experience with energy efficient homes.
Zinc Air, Inc. Local energy start-up has reached a payroll of roughly $2 million in its first year of operations. Just signed a letter of intent with Juhl Wind, Inc., of Woodstock, MN, for the installation of a 1-megawatt advanced energy storage system developed by Zinc Air.