BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter is now running partly on solar energy as a way to cut costs. The shelter flipped the switch this week on three dozen solar energy panels.

The panels could save the shelter up to $2,000 a year, which they say is about 25 percent of their energy costs.

Executive Director Kathryn Hohmann spoke about the shelter's efforts to become self-sustaining, saying, "From being an organization that was mining gravel on our property, which is something that is fundamentally unsustainable, to capturing energy from the sun. It's green, it's future, it's ongoing. And we're really thrilled to be at this place now."

Hohmann says it's a step toward their goal of running completely on solar energy.

The shelter received a grant from NorthWestern Energy to pay for all but $10,000 of the nearly $40,000 project.