What’s Up with the Broken Down Solar Farm in Reed Point?
We're certainly not investigative journalists, so we're kind of hoping you can help shed some light on what's going on with the little solar farm in Reed Point. The one you can see from I-90 as you're whizzing from Billings to Bozeman or Missoula or wherever else you might be heading.
It appears to be falling into disrepair.
Every time I drive by, the small field of solar panels on the slope of the hill seems to be stuck at more wonky angles. Half of them pointing up, a quarter of them pointing down and the remainder are either lying on the ground or not aimed at the sun. The panels are designed to track the sun's path throughout the day. These clearly haven't been moving for a while.
I remember when it was built and thinking "Wow! Green energy in Montana? That's something." Personally, I think we should get as much energy as we can from as many affordable, sustainable ways as possible. Why not? Wind, solar, tides, nuclear, fossil fuels, hydrogen, etc. can all be part of our energy equation, right?
What does a solar farm in Montana have to do with LEGO?
Adapture Renewables is majority owned by KIRKBI Invest A/S, which is wholly-owned by KIRKBI A/S, the private holding and investment company of the Kirk Kristiansen family founded to build a sustainable future for the LEGO® brand through generations.
In 2019, an NBC Montana update on the project revealed that the company was aware of the equipment problems and was working with a contractor to get them fixed. That was four years ago and they don't appear to be fixed at all. When we drove by a few weeks ago the solar operation in Reed Point looked abandoned.
Adapture Renewables lists six solar farms in Montana in their portfolio of nationwide projects. Helena, Reed Point, Lavina, and Hardin each have one solar farm; the company has two in Great Falls. They claim 36 solar projects in the US, many of them quite substantial. Their six solar farms in Montana are some of their smallest. If you have any insight on the status of the Reed Point solar farm (or their other projects in Montana), reach out. My email is Michael.Foth@Townsquaremedia.com
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Gallery Credit: Jesse James