Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative officially switched on a 500,000-watt solar array today. Arkansas Valley partnered with Today’s Power Inc. – a subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Corp. to build the array on 1.5 acres at the cooperative’s Van Buren District Office.
Coop officials say the upfront cost will be recovered by reducing costs for wholesale power during demand periods.
“By harvesting energy from the sun we will be able to provide cost savings by reducing the demand for wholesale power, assist in peak shaving and help stabilize capacity in high-use periods. With a decline in solar prices the last few years and after-tax installed cost, the time was right for the for this facility. Our Ten K Solar REFLECT 26 photovoltaic system is very efficient and requires much less land than other solar array energy options,” said Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative CEO Al Simpson.
Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative also plans to use the 1,530-panel solar project as a demonstration and education tool for its members and general public.