The Maryland Department of Transportation is working to install solar power at many of its facilities around the state, in an effort to reduce costs and reduce pollution.

The state’s Board of Public Works on Feb. 7 approved a measure that would allow the state to install solar panels at 35 of MDOT’s facilities within the next year and a half, with the potential to add more over time.

MDOT controls 874 facilities, though not all of them could accommodate solar panels.

Under the plan, a developer would lease land from MDOT and then construct and operate the solar panels. The company would sign a five-year contract with an option to renew for two more years.

There are six companies that met the qualifications that will allow them to bid for the solar panel work: Abundant Solar Power of Rochester, NY; Ameresco of Framingham, MA; ForeFront Power of San Francisco, CA; KDC Solar of Bedminster, NJ; Siemens Industry of Beltsville, MD; and Standard Solar of Rockville, MD.

MDOT intends to buy the power from the facilities at a fixed rate for 20-25 years and expects its payments to drop from 10 to 11 cents per kilowatt hour to 6 to 8 cents per kilowatt hour.