Crews install solar panels on Missoula's new parking structure


MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula's new parking structure now has more solar power than any building in Montana.

Crews installed 348 panels on the East Front Street parking structure. The panels will generate 85 kilowatts of power for every hour of full sun.

It took two cranes, a lot of guidance, and a dozen or so workers to get a 100-foot long panel up and ready to go.

Panels are mounted on all sides of the facility.

The solar panels plus their infrastructure cost $275,000.

"This particular system is going to provide about 75 to 80 percent of the parking structure's energy needs, so it's going to cover that and years to come," said Sunelco Solar's Janelle Stauff. "These solar panels last upwards of 40 to 50 years."

The panels on the parking garage are mounted on steel poles. They're meant to blend in with the structure's colorful, modern design.

The parking structure opened last week. The five story building provides 322 public parking spaces.

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