The largest solar array in the state of Maine is now fully operational at the Madison Business Gateway.
Madison Electric Works (MEW) is a municipality-owned utility in Madison, Maine that serves 2,500 residential, commercial and industrial customers located in Madison and three neighboring towns. MEW contracted with IGS Solar, a turn-key commercial and residential solar provider, in an effort to help the utility integrate solar energy while helping to better control long-term energy costs for their customers. IGS Solar financed, and will own and operate the system. MEW will purchase 100% of the power generated through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with IGS Solar, which will allow them to utilize on-site generated renewable electricity.
The system is built on 20+ acres of land, utilizes 16,074 330W panels, and is sized at 4.6MW (AC) which is large enough to power roughly 700 homes. The array meets approximately 20% of MEW's annual needs. Advanced Solar Products designed and managed the installation while sub-contracting with Cianbro. The project was originally developed by Clear Energy, which was then secured by IGS Solar through a public bid process.
According to Calvin Ames, general manager of MEW, the project has met all of their objectives. "It was a priority for us to enlist Maine-based companies where possible, which meant nearly all of the labor involved in the installation was performed by highly skilled individuals living right here in the Pine Tree State. Completion of this solar array allows MEW to continue to contain costs for our residential, commercial, and industrial customers, while also using renewable energy. It's a win-win," he said.
MEW will have the opportunity to purchase the system before the end of the 25-year PPA term, if desired.
According to Patrick Smith, vice president of IGS Solar, this is the first project the solar provider has completed in the state. "Opportunities for solar in Maine continue to grow. Working with MEW and the local team to help control area customers' energy costs using this renewable energy source has been a great success. We look forward to being a long-standing sustainability partner to MEW well into the future."