McKinstry, a national construction and energy services company with substantial operations in Arkansas, has announced four new solar energy projects for three government entities — Sebastian and Miller counties and the city of Nashville (Howard County).
The installations — totaling 6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — are expected to save the counties and Nashville together more than $350,000 a year in utility costs, officials said.
“McKinstry is committed to helping our partners across Arkansas identify opportunities to save taxpayer dollars by cutting utility costs while simultaneously making their facilities more sustainable,” Skip Woessner, McKinstry’s Business Unit Manager for Arkansas Energy and Technical Services, said in a statement. “Together we are engineering solutions that allow communities and organizations to upgrade critical equipment and improve energy efficiency with zero cost burden for taxpayers.”
McKinstry is delivering two solar photovoltaic systems for Sebastian County totaling 1.18 MW of solar capacity.
The arrays’ 2.7 million kWh of energy each year will offset 77% of the county’s electricity consumption and save more than $134,000 in annual power bills. Over the years, these savings will offset the $2.5 million in costs associated with the project.
Miller County will be getting a 600 kW solar array and improvements at county facilities to cut utility and operations and maintenance costs. McKinstry will update county buildings with LED lighting retrofits, building management optimizations, HVAC replacements and renovations, and indoor water conservation measures. A combined annual cost savings of more than $213,000 will help to offset the $5 million in costs associated with the project.
In a partnership with the city of Nashville, McKinstry will install a 1 megawatt solar array engineered to generate 2.1 million kWh of energy each year, offsetting 54% of the city’s electricity consumption and saving more than $138,000 in annual power costs. Again, the savings will offset system costs, the company said.
These projects are made possible in part through the Arkansas Energy Office’s (AEO) Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting (AEPC) program or The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS). Energy performance contracting is a tool for paying for efficiency upgrades like lighting, chillers, boilers, water systems and renewable generation over time through annual energy savings. McKinstry is a pre-qualified energy service company under the AEPC program and TIPS.
All the work is expected to be completed in 2021.