20200820-LOC-BadgerSolar

Solar panels on the roof of the W.S. Badger headquarters in Gilsum.

GILSUM — After installing more than 1,300 solar panels, W.S. Badger Co. — the maker of Badger Balm — will be powered entirely by clean electricity.

A ribbon cutting was held Monday for the array, which, with a capacity of almost 490 kilowatts, will be one of the biggest in the region, according to a news release from ReVision Energy, the company that installed it.

The array consists of panels mounted on the roof as well as the ground at Badger’s rural headquarters in Gilsum.

“Switching to solar has been a long-held dream,” Rebecca Hamilton, Badger co-CEO, said in the news release. “This amazing array is a daily reminder of Badger’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.”

She also said it was a “smart financial decision.” By entering into a power purchase agreement — a common arrangement in solar projects — Badger did not have to pay any costs upfront. Rather, the company will make payments for five years to the investor that owns the array, after which it will have the option to buy the array outright at a discount, according to the release.

Besides balms, Badger makes sunscreen and a variety of other personal-care products. The family-run company has been in business since 1995.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @PCunoBoothKS