Bozeman, Mont. – Spark R&D, the splitboard binding manufacturer based out of Bozeman, MT, is beginning installation of a 50kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof of their 12,000 square foot building.
"This project has been on my mind and in the works from the moment we bought our building in 2016," says Becca Ritter, Spark R&D's co-owner and CFO. "We manufacture everything right here, and with a shop full of CNC machines and various production systems running around the clock, it's an energy-intensive operation. Capturing and converting the sun's energy to make power for us just makes sense."
The solar array consisting of 166 panels will cover two-thirds of the company's roof and will offset approximately 25% of their energy consumption.
Spark R&D has always been committed to incorporating sustainable practices into their manufacturing, from recycling aluminum shavings and sourcing materials as nearby as possible, to reusing shop wastewater and adding energy- efficient lighting. Adding solar into the mix is just a natural progression.
"We are adding as many panels as we're allowed to by the state of Montana," explains Ritter. "Right now we are bound by the 50kW law, so we cannot exceed that. We are hopeful that someday the rules will change and that we'll be able to cover the remaining third of our roof with panels. But for now, we are excited to begin producing solar-powered splitboard bindings this summer."
Bozeman based OnSite Energy Inc. is contracted on this project which is already underway and scheduled to be completed by mid-July.
About Spark R&D
Based out of Bozeman, MT Spark R&D is rider owned and operated, dedicated to pushing innovation in splitboarding since 2006. With a view of the Bridger Mountains from our shop, we design and build splitboard bindings and accessories with backcountry performance coming first.