Wednesday, 11 October 2017 17:54

State's largest solar array opens in Madison Featured

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MADISON - Wednesday was an exciting day for the town of Madison, which is now home to the largest solar array in the state.

After more than two years, the Madison solar field is now complete.

"It's finally all up and running, and we're celebrating a little bit," said Calvin Ames, General Manager of Madison Electric Works.

Madison Electric Works held a panel signing and ribbon cutting Wednesday, celebrating the completion of the project.

"This system is 5.3 mega Watts which doesn't mean a lot to most people, but it's about 16,000 solar panels," said Patrick Smith, Vice President of sales for IGS Solar.

The panels stretch on for more than 20 acres, making this the largest solar array in the state.

"We just think it adds a lot of value and a source of pride for the town that they've been able to do something that's this dramatic," Smith said.

The array is large enough to power roughly 700 homes and provide about 24 percent of Madison's annual electric needs.

"We have 2,600 customers and at noontime on a bright sunny day, it feeds them all," Ames said. "We're not buying any power from anybody."

"This project was built by Maine construction companies, by Maine employees," Smith said. "It will be maintained by Madison as well as other local contractors."

Madison Electric Works has a 25 year fixed rate contract with IGS Solar, which owns and operates the system.

"So it's a really nice hedge for Madison Electric Works to always work to keep the cost of electricity for their rate payers as low as it possibly can be," said Hugh Scott, region manager for IGS Solar.