Fountain Lake School District and Little Rock-based renewable energy company Scenic Hill Solar will partner to build an almost $1.5 million solar power plant to provide electricity to power nearly 90% of Fountain Lake’s operations.
Scenic Hill Solar will build, own and operate the 974-kilowatt DC solar power plant and sell electricity to Fountain Lake under a long-term contract. Fountain Lake is northeast of Hot Springs in Garland County. The project will save the school district more than $1.8 million over the next 28 years. By reducing electricity expenses, the solar plant will free up additional resources to help Fountain Lake provide high-quality education for its 1,300 students.
“Fountain Lake’s commitment to providing the highest quality education to our students required that we make smart decisions about where our electricity comes from, and today we’re in the best position possible to do that,” Superintendent Michael Murphy said. “Solar energy is not the energy of the future — it’s arrived in Fountain Lake — and we’re proud to showcase for our students, staff and parents the power of science and technology to improve our well-being as a community and a district.”
The project will be built in Garland County, and construction is expected to start after all governmental approvals are received. It is slated to start producing solar electricity in 2021.
“Scenic Hill Solar is proud to partner with these forward-looking leaders and to invest over $1.5 million into the local economy — simultaneously creating jobs, reducing electricity costs and improving the environment,” said Bill Halter, CEO of Scenic Hill Solar. “While unemployment remains stubbornly high, this project can provide a sevenfold win for Arkansas.”
The 2,400-panel solar plant will produce over 1.65 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year of operation and more than 46 million kilowatt-hours of electricity over the next 30 years. The project will comprise a ground-mounted, single-axis tracking solar array. It is projected to reduce carbon emissions by over 32,690 metric tons, which is the same as driving over 81 million fewer passenger car miles or eliminating the burning of more than 36 million pounds of coal or providing more than 5,535 homes electricity for one year.