Little Rock-based solar power company Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) and electric utility Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative (SWAECC) will build a 1-megawatt solar array near the headquarters of the cooperative in Texarkana.
TPI and SWAECC broke ground Wednesday (Dec. 18) on the single-axis tracking array that will include more than 3,800 panels on about 8 acres. The system was designed to offset a portion of SWAECC’s peak demand. Work on the project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020. TPI declined to release the cost of the project.
“Our partnership with Today’s Power allows us to add 1 megawatt of renewable generation to our portfolio and improve the quality of life for our members,” said Wayne Whitaker, president and CEO of SWAECC. “Our mission at Southwest Arkansas Electric is to provide first-class electric service to the community that is safe, reliable and affordable.”
TPI will own and operate the array, providing electricity to SWAECC under a 20-year service agreement. Including this project, TPI has developed arrays or energy storage for 13 of the 17 electric cooperatives in Arkansas. Most of the arrays have been about 1 megawatt and a result of a utility partnership.
“This solar project is a representation of the board of directors’ and management’s excellent commitment and vision to further improve the quality of life in their communities, thus creating substantial savings for the members of SWAECC for the next 25 to 30 years,” said Michael Henderson, president of TPI.
TPI is a subsidiary of Little Rock-based Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., which is owned by 17 Arkansas electric cooperatives. SWAECC provides electricity to 32,715 customer meters and has 4,531 miles of distribution lines, 139 miles of transmission lines and 35 substations.
The city of Paris and TPI broke ground Dec. 12 on a 1.5-megawatt solar array for the city.