C&L, Today’s Power to build 1-megawatt solar array in Star City

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 948 views 

C&L Electric Cooperative (C&L) and Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) recently started construction on a 1-megawatt solar array near the headquarters of the cooperative in Star City.

The project will include a single-axis tracking array of more than 3,800 panels on 8 acres. The system will mitigate a portion of C&L’s peak demand and produce a maximum peak power of 1 megawatt. TPI will install 1.4 megawatts of DC power to invert it to 1 megawatt of AC.

The array is expected to be completed and begin generating electricity in March. TPI declined to release the project cost, but the project is under a 20-year solar power services agreement to ensure low-cost energy for the cooperative and its members, according to a spokeswoman for TPI.

“At C&L Electric Cooperative, our mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our members to enhance their quality of life,” said Greg Smith, CEO and general manager of C&L Electric Cooperative. “We are happy to partner with Today’s Power with this solar project and take a step into the renewable energy space.”

The array will provide local generation for C&L members. The co-op serves more than 22,192 members and owns and maintains more than 4,385 miles of distribution power lines and 20 substations and metering points.

This is the 12th of 17 electric cooperatives in Arkansas that TPI has developed a solar or storage project. Most of them have been within the scope of 1 megawatt as a result of a utility partnership in Arkansas.

“We are extremely excited to partner with C&L on this solar power project,” TPI President Michael Henderson said. “It will provide significant savings for C&L members over the next 25-30 years and will help to stimulate the economy of Lincoln County and the city of Star City. This project demonstrates how progressive the C&L board of directors and management are in meeting membership needs and enhancing their quality of life.”

TPI is a subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., a Little Rock-based utility service cooperative owned by 17 Arkansas electric distribution cooperatives. TPI offers solar photovoltaic systems, energy storage systems, electric vehicles and charging stations.

TPI recently worked with Ozarks Electric Cooperative and the city of Fayetteville to build the largest solar array on city-owned land in Arkansas. The 10-megawatt system with 24 megawatt-hours of battery storage was completed in July.