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$20M Entegrity Arrays Power Multiple Entities

3 min read

Booneville and Nashville, Arkansas, have some shiny new economic drivers: solar arrays built by Entegrity of Little Rock, now owned wholly by Nabholz Construction Corp.

Entegrity’s state director, Parker Higgs, told Arkansas Business about the projects, which benefit several public entities sharing the power and reaping savings on their electricity.

“We’ve been able to package multiple projects together and invest in these communities, creating jobs and tax revenue, and using land that there was previously no use for,” Higgs said.

The total investment is about $20 million on three different solar arrays totaling 6.5 megawatts in Nashville and four arrays totaling about 7 megawatts of capacity in Booneville, he said.

The projects together take up almost 100 acres, and local governments will most likely reap more than $200,000 in property taxes in their first year of operation.

“At the same time, we’re creating over $250,000 in savings for the different off-takers, and we’re really proud of both of these sites, and proud to be investing back into these communities,” Higgs said.

The entities signed solar service agreements with Entegrity, which will own and operate the arrays and sell the power at a discount from general utility rates.

In Nashville, the entities are the Arkansas Division of Community Correction, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the city of Prairie Grove. The Booneville arrays’ power will be shared by the city of Booneville, the Booneville School District, the Farmington School District and Fayetteville Public Schools. All of the arrays are built and already producing power.

The Booneville project is on about 50 acres in an industrial park tract owned by the city.

“We’re also paying leases on that 50 acres, so that is revenue going back to Booneville,” Higgs said.

The Nashville tract, near the Walmart Supercenter and Pilgrim’s Pride’s Nashville hatchery, is of similar size. “It was open land that they had no other use for, basically on the edge of town,” he said.

Higgs, a University of Arkansas-trained engineer and a certified energy manager, has helped develop more than $100 million in performance contracts since joining Entegrity in 2013.

Entegrity had already delivered a major energy contract with the university, refitting the Fayetteville campus with LED lighting and HVAC improvements, and the solar array for the Agriculture Division was a piece of that project, Higgs said.

The Division of Community Correction array was also the last part of a major power-savings project.

Higgs said Entegrity attracts public entities because of its holistic approach. “We always recommend trying to reduce your energy use before you invest in solar,” he said.

“Things like LED lighting are going to create a lot of savings at a low and quick payback. And you don’t want to build your solar component bigger than you have to,” to optimize savings.

Nabholz’s reputation as a builder is also an asset. The Conway contractor, a majority partner for years, bought 100% of Entegrity a year ago, buying out the stakes of Matt Bell and founding partner Chris Ladner.

“Nabholz has been around for 70 years in Arkansas,” Higgs said. “I think the longevity of our parent company, and the strength and diversity of our offerings, gives Arkansans comfort that we will be here for them throughout a long solar project.”

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