Searcy Solar, State's Largest Array With Storage, Goes Online

Searcy Solar, State's Largest Array With Storage, Goes Online
A solar panel at the Searcy Solar Energy Center (Entergy)

The state's largest sun power array with battery storage is now online and supplying power to the electric grid, Entergy Arkansas announced Thursday. 

The Searcy Solar Energy Center adds 100 megawatts to Entergy's solar operations, which include two other plants in Stuttgart and Lake Village producing a combined 181 megawatts.

The clean, renewable energy provided by the plants is projected to save customers more than $190 million over time, Entergy said in a news release.

The plant in Searcy, built by NextEra Energy of Juno Beach, Florida, is one of the first in Arkansas to include battery storage. It can hold 30 megawatts to provide power rain or shine. 

“Adding renewable energy to our diverse mix of power generation sources is part of our strategy for keeping rates low for existing customers and remaining more competitive for businesses looking to expand or locate their next operation in Arkansas,” Entergy Arkansas President & CEO Laura Landreaux said in the release. 

Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Buck Layne said the new solar plant will help recruit and retain businesses, which will help generate an additional $900,000 in local annual tax revenue. 

The plant is part of a commitment by the Arkansas utility’s parent company, Entergy Corp. of New Orleans, to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Entergy Arkansas said it has another 280-megawatt plant under development and recently issued a request for proposals for up to 500 megawatts of solar and wind capacity to add to its electricity-generating portfolio by 2026.

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