What drives your interest in working on solar energy issues?

The Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a leading voice for renewable energy in Montana. We are dedicated to expanding Montana’s use of renewable energy in order to conserve natural resources, create jobs, and increase the independence and resilience of our communities.


What impact do you feel the SolSmart program will have on the communities with which you will work?

The SolSmart program is a great catalyst for action. Programs like these provide a venue for taking actions that sometimes can fall further down on the priority list. In Montana, we have a number of communities who are working on making solar more accessible. The technical assistance provided and expertise available will help make that process even easier.


What aspects of your work plan are you most excited about? 

I’m most excited about being able to engage with communities that we’ve never had an opportunity to collaborate with before. There is so much good work being done around Montana, but this program gives MREA the opportunity to be hands-on with multiple communities and help move the needle on solar energy. It’s a fun and exciting way to fulfill that part of our mission.

​This experience furthers the skills and resources that MREA can offer to other communities around Montana. We will use these skills and best practices to continue to support solar development around the state.

About Andrew

Andrew Valanis is a SolSmart Advisor at the Montana Renewable Energy Association, serving Bozeman, Missoula, Helena, Missoula County, and Whitefish, Montana.