There are two significant solar events coming up in the next little while.

The first is tomorrow, on the Winter Solstice, Wednesday, December 21, 5 to 5:30 p.m., when Climate Smart is sponsoring a festive, short, fun solar rally in downtown Missoula. It’s at the Higgins and Banks Street site of a solar phone charger (outside of Hunter Bay coffee shop and across from the Wilma).

The rally features “super short words of inspiration” beginning at 5, and a photo opportunity at 5:20. You are encouraged to bring lights or candles for the photo, dress in bright yellows, and enjoy some hot cocoa and cookies, provided by the generous and smart organizers and Liquid Planet. You can RSVP to Climate Smart, here.

SBS Solar, a commercial installer, will be at the rally to answer questions about residential and commercial solar.

In mid-January, January 18 to be exact, 350 Montana (we just changed our name) will be joining with the Montana Information Center to present the petitions we’ve gathered at the Public Service Commission (PSC) meeting in Helena. There have been some shenanigans going on between NorthWestern Energy (NWE) and the PSC to discourage the commercial development of solar energy in Montana.

At the same time, other states are moving ahead fast and furiously with community and commercial solar providing carbon-free energy on a massive scale. Why not here in Montana?  A recent poll says two-third of Montanans support moving to solar and wind energy. Some recent research also suggests that investments in solar energy are actually starting to perform better than investments in fossil fuels. Here’s an article breaking that down:

Both MEIC and 350 Montana think the powers that be are going in the wrong direction and that citizens must stand up to demand solar. We’ve been gathering hundreds of petitions signed by Montanans to encourage more solar energy, and we’re primed to turn them in. The more Montanans in the audience, the better.

More information will be coming about ride shares and speakers at the PSC meeting. Now’s the time to get that date (January 18) in your calendar.

We hope to see you out there with us encouraging solar energy.

Jeff Smith, Chair, 350 Montana