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News, Events and Opinion : Event
Diana Maneta


Diana Maneta

4 people have given kudos so far.
Event Description

Join the Montana Renewable Energy Association for its 4rd Annual Clean Energy Fair!  The fair at Caras Park will include an all-day schedule of free workshops led by experts from around state, on topics including solar, wind, electric vehicles, efficiency, and financial incentives.  There will also be a car show featuring electric, hybrid, and biofuel cars, as well as food, drinks, door prizes, and kids’ activities including model solar car races and a bouncy castle.

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Montana renewable energy businesses talked to the public at the 2012 Renewable Energy Fair.
A solar business at the 2012 fair.
Building a model solar car at the 2012 fair. The solar car races were one of the highlights of the day.
The bouncy castle was a big hit with kids at the 2012 fair.
Hybrid vehicles on display as part of the car show at the 2012 fair.
Learning about solar water heating at the 2012 fair.

Click here for details.

The 2013 Clean Energy Fair was held in Butte. The following story about the event, written by Francis Davis, was published in the Montana Standard on July 21, 2013.

Clean Energy Fair: Know-how, motivation can pay off

by Francis Davis, Montana Standard

The do-it-yourself spirit was on full display at the Montana Clean Energy Fair Saturday at the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

For instance, Matt Elsaesser believes making your own biodiesel is a feasible way to fuel your vehicle, as well as help the environment.

Elsaesser is the executive director of the S.A.V.E. Foundation, a non-profit conservation group based in Helena. On Saturday, he gave a demonstration on how to make biodiesel fuel using vegetable oil, lye, methanol, and other ingredients.

Though Elsaesser, who is also a city commissioner in Helena, was making only a small batch of biodiesel fuel, it took him just a few minutes to combine the materials in a jug that he then shook and let sit in the sun. He explained that it would take 6-8 hours to settle, but then be ready to go.

“The main benefit you have is a fuel that comes from a crop, and it is a lower carbon fuel when compared to ethanol,” he said during the demonstration in front of about a dozen curious onlookers.

John Harris and Nick Mariann, of Remote Power Systems in Stevensville, were promoting their Power Cube, a mobile set of solar panels that could be transported to a remote spot to provide power.

Mariann said the technology was first developed for the military. He said it could be dropped by plane to remote military sites like Afghanistan. The system could also be used for remote construction or emergency sites, as well as homes or cabins off the grid — though the Power Cube is also grid ready, Harris said.

Harris said the unit retails at $17,500, and that it’s quick and easy to use.

“It deploys in about ten minutes,” he said.

Brandon Heuscher, a sales technician at Sunelco, a solar power company in Victor, said solar energy is becoming more reasonable, though it does require an initial investment.

“It’s definitely cheaper than it’s ever been,” Heuscher said.

Panels retail at about $350 for a 250 watt panel. An average house would require 8 to 16 panels, Heuscher said, depending on its energy needs.

Heuscher said a customer would begin to see a return on his or her investment in about seven to 10 years, though rising electric prices are making solar power more attractive.

He said his company was at the fair on Saturday to promote its product and educate the public.

Reporter Francis Davis can be reached at

Date of Event:
September 20, 2014

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Contact Information

Diana Maneta

Montana Renewable Energy Association

P.O. Box 673

Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: (406) 214-9405

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