J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. plans to start construction this year on a solar array expected to offset more than 80% of electricity demand for its corporate headquarters in Lowell.
In January 2022, the Arkansas Public Service Commission approved the 4.99-megawatt array as a net-metering facility with grandfathering, which allows the rate structure to remain in effect until June 1, 2040. The approved rate structure allows electricity generated by the array to receive a 1:1 retail rate credit and for an initial grid charge of zero.
Following is a J.B. Hunt statement in response to questions about the array’s regulatory request: “J.B. Hunt’s application to build a net-metering solar facility has been approved by the APSC, and the APSC has closed the public docket regarding the matter. The solar facility will help offset more than 80% of the electricity consumed at J.B. Hunt’s main corporate headquarters in Lowell. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024.”
According to regulatory documents, Gentry Solar LLC will own and operate the array to be built in Gentry. J.B. Hunt will acquire Gentry Solar after the array is completed. J.B. Hunt owns the land on which the array will be built. In November 2021, J.B. Hunt purchased 39.93 acres southwest of Peterson and Shelley roads in Gentry from Hill Family Trust for $500,000, according to Benton County property records.
Site plans by NextEra Energy Resources of Juno Beach, Fla., show the array will have 16,640 panels or modules.
Regulatory documents show Carroll Electric Cooperative Corp. is the electricity provider for J.B. Hunt’s corporate headquarters. The array will be in the electric cooperative’s service area. The cooperative provides about 13 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to J.B. Hunt annually. The array is expected to produce about 9.7 million kilowatt-hours per year. The array’s useful life is expected to be 30 years.