PORTLAND, Maine — The nonprofit utility serving Madison and nearby towns plans to buy up to 20 percent of its power from a new solar array to be installed at the Madison Business Gateway business park.

The Ohio-based IGS Solar announced Wednesday that it will finance, own and operate the 4.4 megawatt system. Madison Electric Works will buy power from the solar array, under a long-term contract.

The project will include more than 13,000 solar panels at the business park. IGS said it expects the system will fulfill about 20 percent of the utility’s annual need.

Calvin Ames, general manager of Madison Electric Works, said in a statement that the project will help the municipally owned utility to keep its rates competitive for its about 2,500 customers.

The project will be designed and installed by Cianbro and large-scale solar installer Advanced Solar Products. It was initially developed by Clear Energy LLC, owned by energy consultant Evan Coleman, who also is a partner with Cianbro in a larger solar energy project in Pittsfield, at 9.9 megawatts.

IGS said it acquired the project through a competitive bid with the utility.

Madison Electric Works serves customers in Madison, Starks, Anson and Norridgewock.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.