A 1.5-megawatt solar array has started to generate renewable energy for Paris, a city with a population of about 3,400 and a county seat of Logan County.
The city and North Little Rock-based renewable energy company Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) hosted Thursday (Aug. 6) a Flip the Switch event to celebrate the completion of the project.
“The city is committed to being a ‘green community,’” Mayor Daniel Rogers said. “And we want to lead by example from the city level on behalf of our residents, students, businesses and utility providers — showing the state and the rest of the country that promoting low-carbon projects not only fosters clean energy and efficiency — it also creates incentives for good employment and investment in the city and area.”
The 4,900-panel array was built on 9 acres on North Hickory Street in Paris and is expected to produce 70.74 million kilowatt-hours of solar energy over the next 25 years. TPI owns the array, and the city will purchase electricity produced by the array through a 20-year agreement.
“This project is an exciting collaboration between the city of Paris, its wholesale provider, TPI and Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative,” TPI President Michael Henderson said. “This progressive project will allow the city of Paris to promote green energy to help foster economic development which has become a major factor in siting new industrial development. This project truly enhances the quality of life for its residents. This solar project was no easy feat to accomplish for the city council and Mayor Rogers. Bringing a project of this scale online requires tremendous leadership and vision. TPI is extremely proud to partner with the city of Paris on this project.”
The electricity the array produces will be used to offset a portion of the city’s energy demand.
“As the mayor of Paris, I’m really proud of this solar project,” Rogers said. “I think it will be great for our city, and we will be able to say we’re a green community to go along with the hydro allocation we utilize today. Combining hydro and solar will result in Paris’ electricity resource comprising approximately 80% renewable energy for its citizens.”
TPI was created in 2014 by Little Rock-based Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. TPI recently completed solar projects for Mena-based electricity distributor Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative and Southland Gin, Delta Farms and Craighead Electric Cooperative in Jonesboro.