The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and Scenic Hill Solar are partnering to build a solar power plant to provide electricity to the Innovation Hub in downtown North Little Rock. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The new 72 kW solar power plant will produce 42% renewable energy for the Innovation Hub’s operations and it will be constructed as a canopy to cover the building’s parking. The solar power plant will reduce the Hub’s annual electricity expenses freeing up additional resources that will be dedicated toward expanded workforce development and educational programming, officials said.
“On rare occasions, our organization gets to accomplish multiple objectives with one project. Partnering with Scenic Hill Solar on our Solar Power Plant Project is one such occasion,” said Dr. Chris Jones, Executive Director of the Innovation Hub. “Through this project we will: save a significant amount of money; introduce cutting edge technology; measurably improve our environmental stewardship; and develop new educational and workforce development programs. This project will serve as a model for the state, and the nation, on how a community based solar project can lead to greatly improved education, workforce, entrepreneurial, and community engagement outcomes.”
The project will begin construction after all governmental approvals are received and is slated for completion and generation of solar electricity in late 2020.
The 72 KW solar power plant will:
- Produce over 109,000 kWh of electricity in the first year of operation and over 3,000,000 kWh of electricity over the next 30 years;
- Produce enough clean electricity to satisfy 42% of the Hub’s electricity consumption;
- Contain over 175 solar modules;
- Utilize a roof-mounted solar array atop a new parking canopy; and
- Reduce carbon emissions by over 2,121 metric tons which is the equivalent of driving over 5 million fewer passenger car miles or eliminating the burning of over 2.3 million pounds of coal or providing over 245 homes electricity for one year.
“We commend the Innovation Hub for yet another example of technology leadership, said Bill Halter, CEO of Scenic Hill Solar. “With this power plant, the Hub will provide 21st Century training powered by 21st Century electricity generation. This investment in renewable energy is yet another indication of the strong partnership that we have cultivated with the Innovation Hub.”
The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, an affiliate of Winrock International, is a non-profit organization dedicated to innovation and expanding opportunities. It opened in 2014.