In Arkansas, solar energy is taking off big time. The state government is getting on board with it in a big way, and it’s not just them. Local governments are joining the movement as well, and it’s not hard to see why. Arkansas solar panels allow people to both be green, and save green. That’s an attractive combination that’s hard to pass up. Ouachita County in Arkansas seems to agree. That’s why they’re installing a solar farm alongside the City of Camden.
When this Arkansas solar farm is completed, it will generate 6.5 MW of electricity. This amount of energy should be equal to the total consumption of not only local government buildings, but also for Camden Water Utilities, and the Ouachita County Medical Center. The solar farm will consist of 16,000 panels, and will produce over 276,000 MW of solar power over the next 30 years.
Aside from being the first city and county to work together to install an Arkansas solar farm, Camden City and Ouachita County will also be the first city and county to power all their operations with solar energy. Mayor Julian Lott of Camden City is excited to see renewable energy being used to power the city’s needs. “We will reduce our spending on electricity, we will have a long-term hedge against electricity price increases, and we can improve the sustainability of our operations. We are excited to partner with Ouachita County to become the first city and county combination in Arkansas to target 100% solar electricity for all our governmental operations.”
The move was also lauded by Peggy Abbot, CEO of Ouachita County Medical Center. Although she’s long been a supporter of renewable energy such as solar power, it was previously deemed too expensive to utilize. She stated that she is quite pleased that this is no longer the case. “Now, we will save scarce budget dollars and devote the savings directly to healthcare. Further, the generation of solar electricity has no harmful impacts on health and the environment while some other methods of electricity generation can contribute to asthma and other lung diseases. This is a winner for our budget, a winner for the environment, and a winner for health.”
The solar farm will be constructed on land leased from Ouachita County. Both the city of Camden and Ouachita county will purchase electricity from the Arkansas solar farm according to a solar power services agreement. The terms of this agreement will be for 20 years, and also include the option to extend the lease twice for 25-year periods. The solar farm is expected to be completed either late 2019, or early 2020, and will start sending clean, green power out as soon as it’s switched on.
Clearly, the leadership of both Camden City and Ouachita County know which way the wind is blowing. While the price of fossil fuels keeps steadily increasing, the cost of solar panels is going down every day. With all this interest in green energy, the Arkansas solar industry is looking at a bright future. Sunpro Solar is excited to offer clean solar power solutions to Arkansas residents wanting to join the growing movement.