Sunpower celebration as library goes solar

Eleanor Guerrero
CCN Senior Reporter
Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Photo by Eleanor Guerrero
(Left to Right) Kathryn Eklund, Energycorps, Librarian Jodie Moore, Red Lodge Mayor Bill Larson, and Lisa Perry, NorthWestern representative mark the completion of the solar panels for the Red Lodge Carnegie Library with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration.

With the Solarize program going strong in the City of Red Lodge, the Carnegie Library has jumped into the game. 

With the completion of its solar panels, it will now have 70 percent of its approximately $3,000 annual bill covered by free energy. The community was feted at a ribbon cutting ceremony fittingly outside the library on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 13, to mark the occasion with exhibits and treats for all in attendance. Mayor Bill Larson cut the ribbon. “It’s good for the library and good for Red Lodge,” he said.

Jodie thanked the community, Kathryn Eklund, Energycorps sustainability educator with the city for all her efforts as well as NorthWestern Energy that contributed to the major effort. The library was awarded a $24,377 grant from Northwestern Energy to cover 90 percent of the total cost to install solar panels on the roof.  "This renewable generation project received funding through the NWE Efficiency Plus Renewable Energy Program. The program is established with Universal System Benefits Program funds collected from all NWE electric customers in the State of Montana."

With the help of the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, $1,000 was raised and the final goal of required local funding totaling 10 percent of the total project cost $27,086 was reached with the Red Lodge community handling the rest. 


Upcoming Events

  • Monday, September 16, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, September 20, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 11:30am
    Ross Orchards, located at 111 North Street in Fromberg, is proud to announce the opening of a farm stand this Fall. The orchard will be open Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays noon - 5 p.m. starting Sept. 21 and closing Oct. 13. The orchard is working in conjunction with the Last Chance Pub and Cider Mill and Red Lodge Ales to offer fun, family-friendly events.   Every weekend apples, fresh apple cider pressed with apples from the orchard, apple pastries, local honey, food, hard cider, and beer will be available.  There will also be pumpkins and a variety of local produce for sale. Additionally, each weekend will have a different event. Sept. 21 - 22 – Cider and Salutations yoga 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28 – A farm to table dinner at 5 p.m. catered by the Last Chance Pub’s chef Kevin McNourlin. The dinner will feature local foods paired with cider. Contact to reserve seats (limit 40) Oct. 5 - 6 - Kidz Dayz. Bounce house, pumpkin carving, face painting and tractor rides through the orchard. Oct. 12- Orchard run 5k. A family-friendly run/walk through Ross Orchards. Visit to sign up. Sam Hoffmann, President of Red Lodge Ales, remarked, “it has been fun to get to know John, Laura, Hilary, and Elizabeth Ross over the last ten plus years. Together we have pruned, picked apples, and made cider on a home brew level and now commercially. We are proud to share our work with the public.” John Ross, owner of Ross Orchards, adds, “The orchard has always been a source of pride and happiness for me.  Our family has enjoyed working with Sam and Lindsey Hoffmann and their employees. We look forward to the success of Orchard days.” Contact for more info: John Ross 406-671-9614,; Sam Hoffmann 406-425-4607,; Lindsey Hoffmann 406-425-3734,  

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.