“We are at it again,” Today’s Power Inc. marketing chief Jennah Denney announced Thursday as plans for two new solar arrays took shape at a groundbreaking with the Star City School District and the Yorktown Water Association, both in Lincoln County.
The school system and utility turned dirt on the projects on 12 acres in Star City owned by Today’s Power, the North Little Rock builder of small utility-scale sun generation plants.
“All this solar activity,” declared Denney, who just in the past three weeks has trumpeted other TPI projects in Texarkana, Bearden and Camden.
The new Lincoln County projects will provide the school system and water district with lower-cost solar energy under a 20-year power services agreement, she said.
Today’s Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. of Little Rock, will install a 1-megawatt single-axis tracking array for Star City’s schools that is expected to fulfill 75% of the system’s electricity demand. C&L Electric Cooperative will provide the remaining 25%.
TPI described the project as an alliance of “two pillars of the Star City Community” taking part in an ambitious initiative to “reduce their carbon footprint while reducing operational costs.” Construction is expected to stretch through the rest of the year.
Superintendent Jordan Frizzell, in a news release, said the district was proud to “find innovative ways to take care of our environment while being fiscally responsible.” Today’s Power President Michael Henderson also expressed pride and said solar power would “help reduce costs so more of the school’s funds can go to educational purposes.”
The water association will get a 500-kilowatt single-axis tracking array sized to provide 64% of the association's energy needs. “Our board of directors are always looking to save money, but also to invest in the future for the association,” Yorktown Water Association Manager Jody Hibbard said in a statement.
Denney said that Today’s Power, which recently moved to a new headquarters in North Little Rock, was created to build projects for Arkansas’ electric cooperatives — and it has for more than a dozen of the state’s 17 distribution cooperatives — but word got out and “our fellow cooperatives in neighboring states and municipals quickly learned about our program and wanted a ‘known business partner’ to provide their solar systems.”