Ozarks Electric Cooperative announced Thursday (May 20) a partnership with Springdale Public Schools and Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) to build a 2.4-megawatt solar plant near Sonora Middle School in Springdale. The project will include 7 megawatts of battery storage that Ozarks Electric will lease from TPI.
The solar plant is expected to offset about 95% of the total energy used by Don Tyson School of Innovation, Sonora Middle School and Sonora Elementary School. The project will require approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission before construction starts. Groundbreaking is expected to take place this summer.
“Ozarks Electric is proud to work with Springdale Schools to help increase their renewable footprint and aid in a project that embodies their mission and values,” said Mitchell Johnson, president and CEO of Ozarks Electric. “This project demonstrates how we explore innovative ways to bring solutions and services to our members that provide economic, energy-efficiency and sustainability benefits.”
Ozarks Electric members are expected to benefit from the program through reduced wholesale demand cost from the 7 megawatts of battery storage. Johnson said the project is expected to save members about $2.3 million over the next 25 years.
“We are always looking for ways to provide beneficial renewable energy solutions in our local communities,” TPI President Michael Henderson said. “Collaborating with Springdale Public Schools and Ozarks Electric is a fantastic way to expand the use of renewable energy in Northwest Arkansas while also educating our youth about the advantages of renewable energy.”
“This is a win-win for the Springdale Public Schools,” said Kelly Hayes, deputy superintendent of Springdale Public Schools. “This project allows the district to be powered by renewable energy and offers us the opportunity to expose our students to new learning opportunities while fulfilling our ongoing commitment of fiscal responsibility.”