436 Red Fox Lane
Stevensville, MT  USA  

Main Web Page:
E-mail: info@oasismontana.com

406-777-4309 or 4321. Spring/Summer
hours 8:00 to 4:30 MST, Monday through
Thursday, 8 to 4 on Fridays
Toll-free order line 877-627-4768
(877-OASISMT )

Oasis Montana is your one stop shop for customized renewable energy projects.  We have been designing/building off-grid and grid-tied solar power systems for almost 20 years and owner Chris Daum has been in the renawable industry since1989.  As a small business owner, Chris strives to have the best customer service in the industry.
Renewable Energy Design and Supply  
Spring 2016 E-Newsletter

ELECTRICITY... it’s a numbers game.

Whether you are considering the purchase of a solar power system or trying to ascertain why your power bill reads as it does, it’s a good idea to understand some of the very basic math about electricity usage and costs.  Not every utility bill reads the same, but the gist of it is similar. 

It will tell you how many kilowatt-hours you have used in that billing period.

                                                                  Some will give you the number of days in your billing period, then give you a total kilowatt- hours used that month (so you will have to divide the number of kilowatt-hours by the number of days to get your kilowatt-hours per day that you are using).  A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is 1000 watt-hours; if you run ten 100W light bulbs for 1 hour, you will have used up one kilowatt-hour’s worth of electricity. Or, check out this chart for some commonly used devices.


Appliance (Load)
21cf Refrigerator* 

Efficient Fridge*

1500w Microwave

Incandescent Light 

8w LED Light

16w CFL Light

50" LCD Plasma TV

Satellite Box

15" Laptop

Phone Charger









































*Note: these numbers are to give consumption examples; refrigerators do cycle, and do not run continuously.

If you add up all of these loads, you come up with 8394 watt-hours or 8.394kWh per day.

The average American household uses around 30 to 35 kWh or 30,000 to 35,000 watt-hours a day. An efficient home might use as little as 3 to 5 kWh per day (or 3,000 to 5,000 watt-hours); some of our customers with all-electric homes and central air conditioning might use as much as 120+ kWh per day – adding up to a very hefty utility bill! That is why we, as system designers, encourage you to become as electrically efficient as possible. It will save you BIG bucks in the cost of your power system investment.
If you want to offset part or all of your utility bill, we will want to know how much power you wish to generate. If you are building an off-grid home, we will need to know how many watt- hours a day, on average, your system needs to provide. A lot of folks just don’t want to do the math, though. They’ll say, ”We are building a 2,000 sq. ft. home...” and figure that’s all the information we need. Just to be funny, sometimes we will say, “What color is it?” And they’ll say... ”Why does that matter?” – and then we say, well, it doesn’t matter, just like it doesn’t matter how big it is, either; it’s how much power you use. Some people are energy hogs and some are energy frugal, so the same sized home might have very, very different power requirements. Ultimately, we do need you to do some number-crunching for us. If we oversize your system, it will cost more than necessary, and if we undersize it, it won’t run what needs to be powered. For a remote or off-grid home, the electrical load information is square one to determine the size, components, and cost of the power system.

How many Kill-a-watt hours do you use?

Kilo - what?

If you are hooked up to utility power, but only want to run certain loads in the event of a power outage, then we will need to know the power requirements of those loads, and how many days of battery back-up are desired. And figuring out the amount of battery back-up is yet another numbers game!  Here at the home office of Oasis Montana, we have a battery-based, grid-tied power system. In summer, when the sun is shining, we can run our house loads, including a 1.5 HP 240VAC pump – and we can still be feeding back power to our local utility, Northwestern Energy (NWE). And when the power goes out, we are generally not aware of it! So during the summer months, we accrue a credit with NWE, and then over winter (when many of our electrical loads are greater, and the available sunlight much less), we use up that credit instead of adding to it. Last winter (2014 into 2015) we were able to make our ‘credits’ last through the winter. But spring of 2015 brought us additional electrical loads that made us much less efficient last year: we raised a batch of baby chicks.

They don’t stay ‘cute little chicks’
 for long, and rapidly turn into dirty little birds.

Chris Daum, Oasis Montana owner, says, "I raised these from an incubator – that used a kilowatt per day for over 3 weeks; then after they hatched, there was the 250W heat lamp 24/7 for a good 8 weeks, so that was an additional 6kWh per day. And I needed the heat lamp at night for a few more weeks (Montana spring nights are rather chilly!), So it was easily ~380 kWh that I did NOT accrue towards next winter’s credit of electricity."


SOLAR MODULE PRICING—Call for availability, freight costs, and quantities (# of modules) on pallets for the best deal. You can’t get less than a pallet quantity to get the pallet ‘deal.’ For larger modules, pallet quantity generally runs between 20 and 56 modules, and often there are significant additional charges for less (or more) than even pallet quantities. Some suppliers charge re-boxing fees too.


Single / Pallet /       Qty

LG280 Neon 280W, 9.07A, 31.4V
(64.57” X 39.37”)




Made in South Korea


 (64.6” x 39.1”)




Made in China, monocrystalline AC module with Enphase Microinverters


TSM-PD14/305W, 8.25A, 33.3V
(77” x 39.05”)




Made in China; multi crystalline


SLA-270, 270W, 31.2V, 8.56A
 (38.97” x 64.96”)




ARRA Compliant


SOLARWORLD SW285W, 9.2A, 31.3V
(39.4” x 65.94”)




Made in the USA or Germany; monocrystalline


, 255W, 30.1V, 8.4A
 (64.5” x 38.7”)




Made in China; polycrystalline      

PS260M 260W,30.8V,8.46A
 (64.6” x 39”) 
$369 $339 (24)
Made in China; monocrystalline
PHONOSOLAR PS290P, 290W, 8.03A,36.1V
(65” x 39.1”) $409


Made in Taiwan & eastern Europe; polycrystalline

SUNIVA 270W, 31.2V, 8.6A (38.66” x 65.07”)




Buy American Compliant—cells made in the U.S., assembled in China


KYOCERA 245GX, 245W, 8.23A, 29.8V
(64.5” x 39”)




KYOCERA 140GX, 140W, 7.91A, 17.7V (59.1” x 26.3”)




Sunwize SW-S30P, 30W, 17.4V, 1.72 A
(21.38" X 20.04")
Sunwize SWPB-80, 80W, 18.7V, 4.3A (35.3" X 26.4")
Sunwize SW-PB150, 150W, 18.3V, 8.2A
(58.7" X 26.5")
In addition to the ‘inefficiency’ of raising chicks, we experience a very smoky August (from western fires) – some days it was so smoky you needed headlights to drive, so we got much less sun. And over winter, we had more cloudy and snowy days than usual, all of which hurt our utility credit. By January, 2015, we had to depend on utility power to make up the shortfall. What can I say – utility power is, in general, a great deal!

If our situation was off-grid power, we would be using a generator in lieu of the utility to make up the difference in our power requirements; the basic system components are very similar. And as to battery size, it depends on the watt-hours (or kilowatt-hours) per day needed, and the number of days of battery backup desired. If you are concerned about power outages and don’t want to depend 100% on a fuel generator, call us and we will work though the numbers. Our local tech line is 406-777-4321. When a generator is combined with an inverter and battery bank, the run time is effectively reduced and the system operates more efficiently. And adding solar reduces or negates the generator run-time even more.



WHO WE ARE and ORDERING INFORMATION: Chris Daum, owner and manager of Oasis Montana, has been in the renewable energy field since 1989, and our system designer, Larry Keogh, will help plan a power or pumping system for your needs. Our staff offers experience, personalized service, tech support, quality components and good pricing . We are happy to work with your electrician or contractor, and locally we can install your power system (in western MT and parts of Idaho). TO PLACE AN ORDER: E-mail or call us for your freight costs; if you have any questions about your system or product, please contact us. E-mail is easiest and fastest (but we know that you aren’t all on line). We accept Visa/Mastercard (personal and business checks are fine). For our international customers, we accept bank transfers— e-mail or call us for our banking information. Our summer hours (April through October) are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Mountain Time, Monday through Friday. If we‘re on another line when you call, please leave us a message, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, but you may have to leave a message if we’re with a customer or on one of the other lines. 406-777-4321 or 4309 or e-mail us at info@oasismontana.com for tech support on renewable energy systems, freight costs and general inquiries. We’d be very happy to help you with your power project — send an e-mail or give us a call!

Module availability fluctuates, varying as to projects and sales. Call for your module pricing, best deals and availability. Container pricing available for better dollar-per-watt cost. There have been price increases this year, so costs may change without notice.

FFBF240WX   $1390

Way back when (maybe 20+ years ago), a couple of companies started importing these tall, slender, efficient AC refrigerators; the manufacturer was Vestfrost of Denmark, and these refrigerators were sold under a variety of names, including ConServ, Eco-Fridge, and probably a few others. Unfortunately, these Danish refrigerators have been discontinued and are no longer being imported into this country, but there are other efficient options available, with the same attractive European styling – and also Energy Star rated and frost-free. If you are looking for a quiet, efficient refrigerator with a small footprint, check out our offerings at www.eco-fridge.com. The model to the left is all-white, and the model to the right offers stainless doors with matching platinum sides, and have a 2’ x 2’ foot-print to fit in a small space. The refrigerators, above, are 9.65 cu.ft. capacity; there are two other models available in white or with stainless doors that are 27.5” wide and 13.8 cu.ft capacity total, if you need more fridge space. The interior color on all models is white; call for freight costs and more information. They use 1 to 1.2 kWh a day, depending on temps.

FFBF245SSX   $1489

GOOD NEWS: The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been extended for another five years, so we anticipate the solar industry will continue its phenomenal growth during this time. BUT, some utility regulators are fighting back on certain levels…like charging higher net-metering rates for their customers who have installed solar power systems.
The impact of the ITC will vary from state to state. Changes were already underway in many leading solar states, such as California, before the ITC extension was passed. California recently proposed keeping retail rates the same for residential solar customers at present, but with some modest changes. Hawaii has halted new net energy metering applications and introduced two new tariffs as replacements. Nevada has gone the furthest after its recent decision to end net metering for new and existing customers.
Some utilities feel that customers opting for a grid-tied solar system get an unfair rate reduction (since non-solar customers may potentially pay more for the grid power than for those with solar)–even though those solar people have opted to make a major investment in a photovoltaic (PV) system. Some utilities and co-ops are raising their monthly rates for a variety of reasons: to account for lost revenue, or to impact electrical load growth and peak electrical demand. But now that the ITC has been extended, solar is here to stay – and it is anticipated that an additional 25 gigawatts of PV (solar capacity) will be installed within the next 5 years.
The ITC extension is a great boost to the solar industry, and some states are eagerly pursuing clean energy production…including Minnesota, with its value-of-solar tariff that will promote PV in a big way (for more information visit http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/minnesotas-great-leap-into-solar-begins).
These are the best of times, and the worst of times! In most states, the Public Service Commissions or Public Utility Commissions answer to the legislature, so vote wisely and attend your electrical co-op meetings, if you want these clean energy trends, net metering benefits, and reasonable power rates to continue.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.   --J.F. Kennedy

You can become an energy detective
with your Killawatt™ Meter!

If you are trying to keep a lid on your electric bill, it’s most helpful to determine what your electrical loads are on certain devices. Is your refrigerator really an energy hog? How much more juice does your PC use than your laptop? This device is a simple way to determine your electrical usage. You plug it into a wall socket (or perhaps onto an extension cord, to make it easier to read) and plug your appliance or device into it. It will give you instantaneous readings on voltage, watts, amps, and frequency (hertz) numbers. It also gives you cumulative data—so you can see how much power your ‘fridge pulls in a week. If you plug your refrigerator into it, it should cycle and give a higher figure from time to time—that means your compressor is running then.

These are still a great deal at $25 plus shipping!


When people work together, great things happen!


above: customer Todd Rosen and helpers assemble the system

Last summer we worked with some very special people, with the goal of providing clean water from a well to a people desperately in need – the small mountain community of Gris Gris in southern Haiti. One of the main challenges of this system was security; a concrete building was constructed to house the components and water tanks, and tamper-proof rails and hardware were installed to prevent theft of the solar modules (which also made for easy installation and good hurricane protection). The well is 550 feet deep and the pump hangs at 350 feet deep, and pumps about 1200 gallons per day.
This system makes a long walk to the main well at the top of the mountain unnecessary for many people; this walk takes an hour for most people (and it is usually the women and children who have to carry the 40 lb. buckets).
Clean water is one of the good things you can give a village because of all the problems associated with contaminated water. The water is sold for three cents for a five gallon bucket. Our friends at Water For Life in Kalona, Iowa, who work in Haiti, made the well possible.

Three spigots provide plenty of potable water,
and the smiling faces tell it all!

“People say walking on water is a miracle, but to me, walking peacefully on earth is the real miracle.”
–Thich Nyat Hahn

solar water pumping for livestockSolar water pumping is a very neat and relatively simple technology. We provide water solutions in deserts and jungles, for ranches, gardens, remote homes, for clinics, schools and villages in other countries. Our pump systems help people, crops, livestock and even fish and other wildlife! The system at left is for one of our California customers, and it provides water for his ~300 head of cattle. Visit us now online at www.PVsolarpumps.com — fill out the questionnaire and we’ll propose a system for your project.




The Chinook is back!

Something new is blowing in the wind….our popular 200W CHINOOK Wind Turbines were discontinued a while back, but they are once again in production, and for a limited time will still be available at the old price of $675 plus shipping.  This is available as a 12V or 24V battery charging model, and it comes with its own controller.   The Chinook folks are in corroboration with Midnite Solar, and a 500W and 1 KW model should be available soon (hopefully by autumn?) as a 12, 24 or 48V battery charging model OR straight grid-tie (with no batteries). We really don’t have much information on the larger wind gennies at this point; they are still in the testing phase. As soon as these become available we will be offering them. Stay tuned for more information!


FREE SEED! Last year we had a fine APRICOT crop.
This particular variety is called Sweet Pit Apricot, as this tasty fruit contains a very edible almond. I have some pits to give away if you wish to grow your own (it’s not difficult); send stamps. You must be in a location that has winter; they need a cold spell, and are native to where there are long cold winters and short hot summers. Since they make the envelope more than 1/4” thick, the P.O. considers this a package–and it’s $2.54 for postage in the U.S. I also have some short-season hot cayenne peppers… I will send instructions!

BATTERIES.  While solar modules may be the lifeblood of a PV system, and inverters the ‘brain’, batteries are still the only way to get back-up power, and hence they are considered the heart of the system (although due to their general toxicity, they are sort of the malignant side of these technologies!). There are many types of batteries available and it can be confusing as to what best may suit your needs.

Flooded lead acid cells (FLA) are most commonly used, and are generally the best bang for the buck. They are readily available in a variety of sizes; there are cheap batteries that may only last a couple of years, mid-size models that will last 6 to 12 years, and awesome industrial cells that will last 20 to 25 years – all based on proper care, of course, and how much you are willing to spend up front. Pros: readily available, the technology is well-understood and has changed little in over 100 years; they are recyclable. Cons: the electrolyte is toxic and spillable; they outgas hydrogen sulfide when charging and so must be vented in some fashion; they absolutely require regular maintenance including proper charging (and equalizing) and adding distilled water. At this time, these kinds of batteries are what we generally specify for most of our battery-battery bank wiringbased systems. They are temperature sensitive and need to be kept from freezing, as well as kept from excessively hot temperatures (batteries tend to like similar temperatures as we do). Car batteries are FLA, but they have thinner, multiple lead plates to give up their ampacity in a burst (as for starting a vehicle). Deep cycle batteries have fewer thicker plates to give up their power over a longer period of time.

AGM or absorbed glass mat technologies are similar to FLA cells but they contain no liquid electrolyte so they are safe for air transport and can even be stacked sideways for ease of installation. They have similar charging parameters as FLA batteries. Pros: they are maintenance-free and do not outgas; they work indoors and also outdoors in extremes of temperatures (and are recyclable). Cons: they are considerably more costly than their liquid counterparts and their cycle life is shorter. They are often the battery of choice, though, in circumstances where no maintenance can be performed (as in remote telecommunication repeater sites, area lighting, traffic control, navigation aids or for powering telemetry equipment). Gel cell batteries are similar to AGM technologies (as they are non-spillable) but they generally do not take as high a charge as FLA or AGM batteries; most solar charge regulators offer a separate control to select what type of battery you have in your system, so it will charge appropriately. Extreme of temperatures can damage AGM and gel cells.

NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries are occasionally but rarely used in solar power systems; they do offer decent cycle life and good performance in low temps, and they can deliver high capacity in a short period of time, but they are more costly than FLA batteries and the cells have a high discharge rate; therefore they also require additional charging and are more toxic in their disposal.

NiFe (Nickel Iron or Edison) batteries are rather costly; they tend to be long-lived and will tolerate a fair amount of abuse (like overcharging, overdischarge); due to its low specific energy, poor charge retention, and high cost of manufacture, other types of rechargeable batteries have displaced the nickel-iron battery in most applications.

LiOn (Lithium Ion) batteries were originally popular in consumer electronics; they are known for their good storage capacity and small size. Chemistry, cost, safety and performance characteristics vary widely across LiOn types.  Recent applications include EVs (electric vehicles); Elon Musk of Tesla fame has said his new “Powerwall” (the battery from their EV) will be a major game changer in the world of residential battery storage. However, at this writing it is not quite ready for prime time; the battery pack is a 400V unit, and holds 7 kWh of storage (their future off-grid model says it will offer 10kWh of storage). There is no inverter yet that will play nicely with the “Powerwall” but we shall likely see something later this year. Lithium ion batteries can be quirky and even dangerous under some conditions, as their electrolyte is flammable and under pressure. Hence, charging parameters must be strictly controlled, or ‘thermal runaway’ may occur–basically a fire. There have been battery recalls by some companies. Even so, with its deep cycling possibilities, good storage capacity (with low self-discharge rate) and smaller size, we anticipate it will be available soon for UPS and off-grid applications. However, we have learned it’s oft times better to let someone else be the ‘beta tester’ for a new technology!

Rolls Surrette deep cycle batteriesHow do you determine the size of your battery bank? Well, we go back to some of that basic math from earlier in the newsletter. First, we need to know how many watt-hours (or kilowatt hours) a day are needed. Suppose you wish to be able to run your (efficient) refrigerator, radio and a few lights in the event of a power failure. You’ve tallied up your loads, and you come up with 1500 watt-hours (or 1.5kWh) per day needed, and you want three days of battery back-up. First thing is that batteries, inverters, and the rest of the components are not 100% efficient, so we need to include a load correction factor; so we multiply your 1500W times 1.4, and get 2100 – theTrojan Batteries for solar powewr systems actual watts we have to make to get your 1500 watt-hours needed. We take 2100 X 3 (the number of days of back-up desired), then take that number times 2 (for 50% depth of discharge–we never want to take the batteries below that) and come up with 12600; then divide THAT by your system voltage (usually 24V or 48V) and that gives us the number of amp-hours of storage needed. So for a 24V system, you would need 535 amp-hours of storage at 24V. Are you confused as can be? Visit our battery page at www.oasismontana.com/batteries.html for more dull information or give us a call and we’ll help confirm what you need for the loads you wish to run! 406-777-4309.

>>>Fossil fuels - is the decline permanent for the industry? http://cleantechnica.com/2015/07/20/the-fossil-fuel-energy-industry-is-now-entering-terminal-decline/ Looks like the industry players will get less and less financially feasible as time goes on.

>>>Declining Prices for Wind & Solar Are Impacting Capacity Factors for Fossil Fuel Generation: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-06/solar-wind-reach-a-big-renewables-turning-point-bnef Once a solar or wind power facility is built, the marginal cost of its electricity is pretty much zero–free electricity – while coal & gas plants require more fuel for every watt produced! If you’re a power company with a choice, you choose free every time.

>>> Turning pollution into printer ink: http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/10/12/press-print-air-pollution?cmpid=tpdaily-eml-2015-10-12

>>>The most and least energy efficient states: http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/10/06/most-and-least-energy-states?cmpid=tpdaily-eml-2015-10-6
You might be surprised to see where your state ranks; warmer and colder states have different ways of ranking their efficiency.

>>>Over $650 Million in Savings Possible on Montana Electric Bills by Growing Wind Energy: Montana could save over $650 million by 2050 and be a major power exporter. http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=7966 According to the newly released data generated by using the U.S. Department of Energy’s new 2015 report "Wind Vision: A new era for wind power in the United States," low-cost wind can save Montana consumers over $650 million on electricity bills through 2050. The new data shows Montana can obtain over 400 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2030 - enough energy to power 6.4 million American homes every year. Growing wind will not only lower consumer electricity bills, it will also become an energy export for the state (and help other states maintain their RE portfolios). Other added economic benefits for the state would include $126.13 million dollars in annual property tax revenue and Montana landowners would be paid by wind farm owners $51.14 million in lease payments a year by 2030.

>>>The Best and Worst States for Solar: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-best-and-worst-states-for-solar-2016-01-27 and
http://www.irecusa.org/2016/01/irec-and-vote-solar-release-2015-freeing-the-grid Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council have released the 2015 grades for "Freeing the Grid," an annual report card that rates all 50 states on two key clean energy policies: net metering and interconnection standards. In 2015, six states improved their net metering grades. In total, more than two-thirds of U.S. states now qualify for good ‘A’ or ‘B’ grades in this important clean energy policy. On the flip side, four states received lower grades, including the one-time rooftop solar leader Nevada, which fell to an ‘F’ grade as a result of recent policy decisions that drastically change the value proposition for solar customers. Five states – Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Hampshire and North Carolina – improved their interconnection grades in 2015. Only one, North Dakota, received a lower grade. Half of U.S. states have good ‘A’ or ‘B’ grades, and the remaining need improvement.

>>>Thinking about a residential wind turbine? Think again. http://solartoday.org/2016/01/what-matters-when-shopping-for-a-small-wind-turbine/ Mick Sagrillo (industry expert) has some words of advice for you.

Benefits from state renewable portfolio standards far outweigh costs:  http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/report-benefits-from-state-renewable-portfolio-standards-outweigh-costs?utm_source=Solar&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=GTMSolar   Opponents of renewables say they increase costs for consumers, but studies indicate costs are far outweighed by environmental and health improvements that come from 'greeing' the energy mix.

Elon Musk says 'oil dependency is just stupid: https://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/27/1373757/-Tesla-s-Elon-Musk-simplifies-how-dumb-our-oil-dependency-is?detail=emailclassic

An interesting article on methane and ruminants: https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/ruminants-and-methane-not-fault-animals

Data Centers Could Consume Three Times as Much Energy in Next Decade:
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/global-warming-data-centres-to-consume-three-times-as-much-energy-in-next-decade-experts-warn-a6830086.html  Data centers have mushroomed from virtually nothing 10 years ago to consuming about 3 per cent of the global electricity supply and accounting for about 2 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. For perspective, the 416.2 terawatt hours of electricity the world’s data centers used last year was far higher than the UK’s total consumption of about 300 terawatt hours. That gives it the same carbon footprint as the airline industry. And this use will treble in the next decade. Some internet companies – such as Facebook, Google and Apple – are leading efforts to be more environmentally responsible. The measures being taken include housing data centers in cold climates – which dramatically reduces the energy needed to cool the facilities – with a ready supply of renewable energy. But at the moment the industry’s environmental actions fall far short of what is needed.

Bats and Wind Turbines...the latest:  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2016/01/bats-and-wind-turbines-moving-beyond-dracula.html 

Who owns the sun?  Things are getting interesting...  http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-solar-power-buffett-vs-musk/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202016-02-04%20Utility%20Dive%20Solar&utm_term=Utility%20Dive:%20Solar

By fighting rooftop solar, utilities are setting themselves up for worse things to come:  http://www.vox.com/2016/2/3/10905624/utilities-rooftop-solar-storage

The Powerwall in a nutshell:  https://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall

Driven by Power Outages and Savings, Towns Look to Microgrids http://bigstory.ap.org/article/60de3af523c142c586640b58af205d72/driven-power-outages-and-savings-towns-look-microgrid  The upstate New York town of Nassau near Albany, which repeatedly found itself without power for days during a string of storms, is planning to pull its municipal buildings entirely off the electric grid and to rely on solar, wind, landfill gas and battery storage by 2020. The decision puts the town of 5,000 on the leading edge of a national campaign to develop "microgrids" designed to make communities more energy independent and the grid more resilient. Similarly, A year ago,  Fairfield, Connecticut, hooked up an off-the-grid system that automatically takes over if the utility grid fails. Built with the help of a $1.1 million state program, Fairfield's system combines a natural gas-powered generator and solar panels at the emergency shelter and fire station, which are connected to each other, the police station and cell phone towers. A similar system is in the works at Fairfield's waste water treatment plant.  "Campus microgrids" are familiar at places like hospitals and industrial plants, but development of the more sprawling "community microgrids" has been slowed by technical and regulatory hurdles. There's also been a mixed response from utility companies, ranging from resistance to a threat to their franchise to embracing microgrids as a business opportunity.

Tesla's Powerwall hits the Australian market:  http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/teslas-powerwall-is-out-in-australia?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=GTMDaily

Quotable quotes:Oasis Montana spring renewable energy newsletter

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
–Leo Tolstoy

“I love the smell of rain and growing things”
–Serina Hernandez

"The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and
get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then get elected and
prove it."
—P.J. O'Rourke

“The enemy isn’t conservatism. The enemy isn’t liberalism. The enemy is bullshit."
—Lars-Erik Nelson

"I don't know whether it's the finest public housing in America or the crown jewel of the federal prison system."
—Bill Clinton, on life in the White House

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country."
—Marion Barry, former Washington, D.C. Mayor

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”
— Ray Bradbury

"If the gods had intended for people to vote, they would have given us candidates."
—Howard Zinn

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. —Ronald Reagan

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
---John Lubbock

OASIS MONTANA INC., Stevensville, Montana, USA  406-777-4309  E-mail:  info@oasismontana.com

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