Park Co. senior citizens invest in the future with solar panels - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Park Co. senior citizens invest in the future with solar panels

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LIVINGSTON - For the seniors of the Park County Senior Center, the future is bright. And now, it’s getting a little brighter.

The Livingston senior center is going green with a series of solar panels, and the 50-year-old organization now boasts one of the largest solar panel arrays allowed in the state. It’s been an 18-month journey, but the center will now save around 30% on energy costs every year from the 151 solar panels currently installed on its roof.

The ceremonial switch was flipped by Montana Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney, a solar panel owner and proponent himself.

Cooney said he and his wife decided to install the panels not only for the inherent energy savings, but because they knew it was the right thing to do. It’s just an added bonus, he says, that for about half of the year they have no electric charges on their utility bill.

When it’s all said and done, the Park County Senior Center will save around $160,000 on utility bills over the 25-year lifespan of the solar panels. The center worked with solar panel installer OnSite Energy and the Yellowstone Bend Citizen’s Council to make the panels a reality.

They hope the move will extend past their tight-knit group of seniors and inspire others to make a smaller footprint.

“This is the senior center,” Cooney emphasizes. “This is a generation that is here now and yet what they’re doing here is going to be helping future generations in our state. We’re very excited about it.”

As Park County Senior Center resident Joe Bauman sees it, this is a big step forward: “Hopefully, it’ll be an example for the whole town and the whole county and country.”

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