Peoples Bank of Sheridan became one of Arkansas first community banks to be powered 100% by solar energy this week as Delta Solar of Little Rock announced completion of a 56-kilowatt array outside the bank’s headquarters in Sheridan.
It was one of the first big projects completed under the leadership of Delta Solar President Katie Niebaum, formerly executive director of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association. She began in her new position Jan. 1.
“It’s good to be back in the energy world,” Niebaum said by email. “Delta Solar is a solar design and construction firm serving commercial and agricultural clients. We handle all aspects of solar installations from initial utility bill analysis to long-term maintenance.”
Bob East, the construction, real estate and technology magnate who took a 25% stake in Delta Solar in 2020, said in a statement that the firm was “excited to have collaborated with Peoples Bank to design and build a system that meets 100% of their energy needs and provides significant cost savings to help better serve their customers and community.”
The photovoltaic array is projected to save Peoples a quarter-million dollars in energy costs over the next 30 years, officials said, and the system was built to produce enough power to offset power use at the Sheridan headquarters.
“Delta Solar’s team provided us with a personalized solar solution that made sense environmentally and economically,” Craig Manatt, president and CEO of Peoples Bank, said in a news release. “Our solar system is a win-win for the bank as we were able to significantly reduce our electricity costs while generating a strong return on our investment.”
The array offset more than $750 in the bank’s most recent electric bill, Manatt said. “By comparison, if we had not invested in solar, that money would have earned only about $70 last month.”
Peoples Bank, formed in 2000, has branches in Sheridan and East End.