Community Solar III is being developed in partnership with the City of Whitefish near the Whitefish Wastewater Treatment Plant, and will feature over 400 solar panels capable of cumulatively generating 200 kilowatts (kW) of carbon-free electricity. Construction will begin early summer 2024 and the project is expected to begin generating electricity in the fall.

  • Any Co-op member may purchase the generation output from up to 5 panels*.
  • The project will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Purchase price is $700 per 540-watt panel.
  • A non-refundable down payment of $75 per panel is required to secure a portion of the project. The remaining balance will be due this fall when the project nears completion.
  • When Community Solar III is completed and begins generating electricity, participating members will receive a credit on their monthly electric bill for the solar generation from their portion of the project.
  • Based on today’s electric rates, and depending on which rate tier the generation offsets for the participant, residential Co-op members who purchase the output from one panel can expect a reduction on their electric bill of between $40 and $70 each year, resulting in an estimated payback period between 10 and 17.5 years.

Purchase Your Share

Reserve your portion of the project with three easy steps today:

  1. Complete the Community Solar III Application & Purchase Form.
  2. Within 10-15 business days, FEC will review and approve purchase forms depending on the remaining availability of the project.
  3. Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will be invoiced for your $75 per panel down payment. (The down payment may be added to your next electric bill, or you can request an invoice to pay online or in person at the Co-op offices.)

Congratulations – at this point, your participation in the project is confirmed!

Pay the full balance later:

Later this fall, when the project is nearing completion and closer to generating solar energy, the full balance (minus your down payment) will be due. Payment options for the remaining balance will include:

  1. Request an invoice to pay online or in-person at the Co-op office. (Payment must be received in full within 30 days of the invoice date or the balance will be added to your next electric bill.)
  2. Add the entire balance to your next electric bill.
  3. With Co-op approval, pay over 12 monthly installments on your electric bill.
Complete the Community Solar III Purchase Form

Questions or need more information? Visit Community Solar or call 406-751-4483 and ask to speak to Energy Services.

Community Solar III is made possible by grants from the Rural Energy Program for America (REAP) and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). The grant agreements require Flathead Electric Cooperative to maintain ownership of the solar panels and retain any associated tax credits. Members purchasing “panels” in Community Solar III are purchasing a panel’s generation, not the panel itself. 

The energy generated from approximately 80 of the panels will offset the usage on bills of low-income families in the Co-op’s territory. This is possible thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and a $5,000 donation from YeTI Photovoltaic, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Whitefish, Montana.

More About Community Solar