Homegrown Energy Film Festival features stories of two families from Custer County


Two Custer County families are using solar-generated electricity to reduce their energy costs and increase their self-sufficiency. Their stories are featured in the Homegrown Energy Film Festival, which will be shown in Miles City on Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at the Tongue River Winery, 99 Morning Star Lane.

The Homegrown Energy Film Festival features a series of short home movies depicting  innovative clean energy projects across Montana, according to an email from the Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRC). It demonstrates that homegrown clean energy innovation is taking place in all parts of the state, including in Miles City and elsewhere in eastern Montana.

Tickets are $10 each. Children 12 years of age and under get in free. 

Wine from the Tongue River Winery will be available for purchase, along with appetizers and desserts. Funds raised from this event will support Northern Plains Resource Council’s work to promote clean energy.

“Installing a solar-powered electric fence and stock water pump close to 10 years ago were great decisions for my ranching operation,” Mark Fix wrote in the email. “They not only work better — they were also affordable.” Fix ranches along the Tongue River near Miles City and is a past chair of NPRC.

Miles City’s Mike and Karen Stevenson just installed their solar photovoltaic (PV) array over the summer, and are excited to see it finally hooked up. 

“We believe that generating clean energy in distributed locations across the state is the future of electricity — and it’s not just the future, it’s possible today,” Mike Stevenson wrote in the email. “With our twenty-four 300 watt solar panels and eight 3,400 watt back-up batteries, we can net meter more than our own electrical usage and, in case of an outage, could produce our own power for up to 3 days, even if it’s cloudy. Tongue River Electric Cooperative has recently installed a 50 kilowatt mini-grid of their own in Ashland to get firsthand knowledge of the technology.”