First Electric Cooperative of Jacksonville has entered into a service agreement with Today’s Power Inc. of Little Rock to install a one-megawatt AC solar array.
"First Electric exists to serve our members and deliver electricity in the most affordable manner possible," Don Crabbe, president and CEO of First Electric, said in a news release. "The TPI solution will enable our cooperative to realize cost savings by reducing the demand for wholesale power and assisting in peak shaving. The low after-tax installed cost, the safety of the low-voltage design and the use of experienced construction crews to install the system were key factors in our decision."
The 3,840-panel system is scheduled to be operational in late fall. The TPI system will involve about 5 acres near Benton.
"Our Ten K Solar REFLECT 26 photovoltaic system is very efficient and requires much less land than other solar array energy options," said Michael Henderson, president of TPI. "First Electric’s customized system was designed to minimize demand billing from its wholesale power provider."
According to Henderson, First Electric is one of many electric cooperatives launching TPI-based solar programs across the country. He said TPI offers electric cooperatives opportunities to realize savings that previously were only available to taxable companies.
Today’s Power, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., a Little Rock-based utility service cooperative owned by 17 Arkansas electric distribution cooperatives.