The primary goal of the Re-Powering report is to provide information to decision makers in the Flathead Valley about current and future opportunities in energy use, and to best position these decision makers to harness those opportunities as they arise. With abundant renewable energy sources, innovative technology, and outstanding entrepreneurship, the Flathead has an extraordinary opportunity to create a new direction for energy use and development in our region.
The report represents three years of research and analysis, and an extensive community involvement process that led to the following conclusions:
- That there is a clear link between energy and the local economy;
- There are many meaningful opportunities to improve upon the current picture of energy use in the Flathead;
- Reducing energy costs for residents and businesses through conservation and efficiency and investing in local energy supply could create substantial benefits for the local economy;
- Success stories demonstrate the potential for many diverse actions that can be taken to harness cost savings, energy independence, reliability, and other benefits;
- The efforts highlighted in the success stories have just scratched the surface of the potential for better energy management opportunities in the Flathead.
- Leadership is critical in identifying and acting upon opportunities.
The Re-Powering the Flathead report supports the conclusions above with research, data, resources, and best practices.
Unlike many community energy plans which focus narrowly on local government operations, the Re-Powering the Flathead report explores opportunities available for local governments, the private sector, and individuals. The result is a document that will support decision-makers throughout the community in the implementation of diverse energy projects and programs intended to improve upon energy use and the local economy.
Another benefit of this report is that it provides live links to hundreds of examples of ideas to help address challenges and harness opportunities explored within the report.
Download the Report: Re-Powering the Flathead.
About the author: Lauren Casey joined the Re-Powering the Flathead team in October 2010 as part of the Montana Energy Corps program. Lauren grew up in Somers, Montana where she developed a passion for stewardship through a childhood spent almost entirely outdoors. She graduated in 2006 from Stanford University with a masters degree in Engineering with an emphasis on energy and spent the next four years working as a consultant helping cities, utilities, and private sector clients implement renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. She joined the energy corps as an opportunity to bring some of her experience home, to serve Montana, and also to learn about and promote strategies to help her community become healthier and more resilient.