Continuing a wave of investment in solar power by the state's electric cooperatives, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. has agreed to buy solar electricity from an 800-acre generation facility to be built near Crossett (Ashley County).
Under the power-purchase agreement, Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. of Broomfield, Colorado, will provide up to 100 megawatts of power generated at the 800-acre site expected to begin construction in 2021. The project has been dubbed the Crossett Solar Energy Farm.
Duane Highley, president and CEO of AECC, praised the project, which will create power from more than 362,000 solar panels and employ up to 750 workers during peak construction. Three permanent jobs are expected at the site.
"The addition of the 100 megawatts of solar capacity … will provide AECC with additional reasonably priced power that is ultimately delivered to more than 1.2 million electric cooperative members in Arkansas," Highley said in a statement. "AECC's generation fuel portfolio now includes more than 17 percent hydropower, solar, wind and biomass generation, which supplements our traditional generation facilities."
According to an AECC news release, RES is a leading global renewable energy development and construction company. It will develop and build the solar farm, then sell the power to AECC upon completion.
"We're excited to work with Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation again, and we are pleased to help AECC bring solar energy to the cooperative members," said Graham Reid, the CEO of RES, which has more than 1,500 employees and has built more than 10,000 megawatts of generation capacity throughout North America.
AECC provides wholesale power to Arkansas' 17 electric distribution cooperatives supplying 500,000 homes, farms and businesses.