The city of Stuttgart and Scenic Hill Solar have partnered to build a 3.15 megawatt solar power plant that will generate 100% renewable energy for its government and municipal operations.
The solar power plant will save the city more than $100,000 a year, according to a joint statement from city officials and Little Rock-based Scenic Hill Solar. A site has not yet been determined, but it will be within city limits. Stuttgart, known as the rice and duck capital of the state, has a population of just under 9,000 and is a county seat of Arkansas County.
Scenic Hill Solar is not disclosing the cost to build the plant, but did estimate that construction will have a $5 million impact on the local economy. The plant is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020, and when in operation will be leased from Scenic Hill to the city.
“We are excited for this partnership with Scenic Hill Solar and their CEO, Bill Halter, as we take the city to one hundred percent renewable energy for city government operations,” noted Mayor David Earney. “We look to save our city over $100,000 a year. The City of Stuttgart will be producing clean, renewable energy for generations to come. The solar power plant will make the City of Stuttgart’s future brighter than it already is.”
David Leech with Stuttgart Economic Development said the effort began more than a year ago when city officials decided to make “Stuttgart the solar capital of the Southeast United States.” Bill Halter, CEO of Scenic Hill Solar and former Arkansas Lt. Governor, said the solar plant will do more than just save the city money.
“This project demonstrates that businesses and government organizations can simultaneously save money, hedge against future electricity price increases, protect the environment, and foster local economic development,” Halter noted.
Following are some of the benefits of the solar plant, according to the joint statement.
• The operation will produce more than 5,433,000 kWh of electricity in the first year of operation and produce more than 150,786,000 kWh of electricity over the next 30 years.
• The solar plant will use more than 7,000 solar modules, and utilize a ground mounted single-axis tracking system.
• Using electricity from the solar plant will reduce carbon emissions by more than 106,600 metric tons which is the equivalent of eliminating the burning of over 116 million pounds of coal or providing over 18,000 homes electricity for one year.
Other Arkansas cities and local governments who have partnered with Scenic Hill include Camden, Clarksville, The Guy-Perkins Public School District in Faulkner County, North Little Rock Public School District, and Yell County/Danville.