Solar project underway for Springdale Public Schools

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 600 views 

Ozarks Electric Cooperative, Springdale Public Schools and Today’s Power Inc. broke ground on Feb. 9 on a 2.38-megawatt solar project near Sonora Middle School in Springdale. The project also will include 6.9 megawatts of battery storage to be used by Ozarks Electric.

Construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.

Today’s Power will install, own and operate the solar array that will include single-axis tracking technology allowing the panels to track the sun throughout the day to increase power output. The array is expected to generate more than 4.8 million kilowatt-hours annually and offset about 95% of the energy consumed by Don Tyson School of Innovation, Sonora Middle School and Sonora Elementary School.

“Working with the local schools to improve their renewable energy portfolio aligns perfectly with our mission and values,” said Mitchell Johnson, president and CEO of Ozarks Electric. “This is just one example of how we seek new solutions for our members in an effort to provide more sustainable and energy-efficient services.”

The project, which will be built on school district property, is expected to save the schools $2.6 million over the next 25 years.

“We are thankful to Mitchell Johnson for connecting us with Today’s Power and this opportunity for environmental stewardship,” said Superintendent Jared Cleveland. “This partnership positions Springdale Schools to be on the cutting edge of fiscal responsibility, technology and clean energy for public schools. The district is proud of this partnership and for our school board’s continued leadership toward responsible energy consumption for our buildings.”

The battery storage is expected to save Ozark Electric customers about $2.3 million over the next 25 years, Johnson said.

“Today’s Power is committed to bringing renewable energy projects that contribute to the reliability, sustainability and energy savings objectives of all communities,” said Derek Dyson, president and CEO of Today’s Power. “We have a special focus on rural sites operated by cooperatives, public power, municipalities, including education institutions. Through this project, Today’s Power will improve the reliability needs of Ozarks Electric, while also lowering the energy cost of both Ozarks Electric and Springdale Public Schools.”