Past Sustainable Energy Projects
Affordable Sustainability Technical Assistance
The Affordable Sustainability Technical Assistance (ASTA) project provided project-specific, sustainable design technical assistance to HOME participating jurisdictions and subgrantees that serve the needs of the nation's poorest families. By focusing outreach efforts on Community Development Housing Organizations (CHDO) that receive HOME funds, ASTA assisted community housing organizations that are generally understaffed and have limited in-house technical resources. Funds for this service were awarded to NCAT through Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) SuperNOFA process. The ultimate goal of the ASTA Project was to help make cost-effective sustainable design practices a normal part of affordable housing development, modernization, and rehabilitation programs, building new affordable houses so they use a minimum of nonrenewable energy, produce a minimum of pollution, and cost a minimum of energy dollars, while increasing the comfort, health, and safety of the people who live in them. The ASTA project developed a useful resource website and several publications.
Sun4Schools and Other Solar Electric Demonstrations
The Sun4Schools Project served as both a power supply and educational tool for 27 middle schools and high schools in the NorthWestern Energy service area. Each school hosts grid-connected solar PV installations of 2-kW. A solar energy curriculum was provided for the participating schools. Sun4Schools was been funded through NorthWestern Energy's Universal Systems Benefit Charge. NCAT also administered several other solar electric demonstration projects in NorthWestern Energy's service territory, funded by Universal Systems Benefit Charges. These included a program that placed systems on 18 fire stations, a Solar Meals for Seniors project that placed systems on 10 senior meal facilities, and Sun4Communities, which installed solar electric systems on 10 public buildings such as libraries, courthouses and city halls in 2004.
Million Solar Roofs
In 2004, NCAT began a project funded by the Million Solar Roofs Initiative Small Grant Program for State and Local Partnerships. This Montana Solar Initiative for New Homes was designed to increase the number of new homes built in Montana that either include solar electric systems or are "solar-ready" for systems to be installed in the future.
Arkansas Renewable Energy
In 2004 NCAT developed a website for the Arkansas Department of Energy, featuring state and regional renewable energy news and resources. NCAT maintained and updated the site through 2007.
NCAT Photovoltaic System
A 4-kW utility-intertie PV system has been installed on the NCAT building in Butte, Montana, where it serves as a demonstration project. The system's performance can be monitored by logging on to www.montanagreenpower.org.
Affordable Solar Project
The Affordable Solar Project demonstrated and evaluated the use of solar technologies for low-income residences. Six residential solar-air collector systems and three solar hot-water systems were installed in Montana, on electrically heated, low-income homes. These systems allowed Montana Community Action Agencies and the Human Resources Development Council to evaluate the space- and water-heating savings from these technologies and to train staff for system installation and maintenance.
Multifamily Public Housing Energy Efficiency Clearinghouse
The Multifamily Public Housing Energy Efficiency Clearinghouse provided technical assistance in energy and water usage reduction to public and tribal housing authorities as well as assisting housing managers and owners for their multifamily building stock. Working with housing authorities, the project targeted multifamily buildings, offering the highest savings potential and assisting in developing a comprehensive plan for energy and water use reduction.
The project was funded by HUD.
National Energy Affordability and Accessibility Project
(NEAAP) is a resource tool for anyone interested in the impacts of energy restructuring and energy market changes on low- and moderate-income households. It is a consumer-oriented website featuring state-by-state overviews on the status of restructuring, news and analysis on consumer-related restructuring activity, consumer protections under restructuring, and details on energy programs available to all residential consumers, including the low income.
Smart Communities Network
This website has been called "The Number One Source for Sustainable Development Information." Managed by NCAT for the U.S. Department of Energy, the Smart Communities Network website is NCAT's longest-running internet-based information program. The website contains hundreds of community success stories, model codes, breaking news on community sustainability, a national conference calendar, and a compendium of links to sustainable community information.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
NCAT staff worked with the Association for Energy Affordability and Phipps Housing to develop and refine four financing models to be used to implement energy improvements in the government-assisted housing sector. These models were pilot tested at multifamily properties. Funding for the project was provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority with funds from a Federal grant administered by HUD.
Residential Solar Electric Demonstration Project
The Residential Photovoltaic Group Purchase Project provided supplemental funding for 1-kilowatt (kW) peak-capacity residential PV system demonstrations. Systems were tied into the utility grid so that energy provided by the PV panels, but not used by the homeowner, would go back into the utility grid. The Residential Solar program was funded for several years by NorthWestern Energy's Universal Systems Benefit Charge. Over the history of the project, 62 systems were installed on homes in Montana.
Wind Energy Projects
NCAT has been active in a number of projects that helped bring small wind power generation to Montana. These included anemometer loan programs in cooperation with the State of Montana, as well as a residential wind power installation incentive program funded through NorthWestern Energy's Universal Systems Benefit Charge.