Solar energy

Courtesy / SWEPCO

A new wind farm in Oklahoma, owned by Southwestern Electric Power Company and sister utility, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, recently began to generate renewable electricity to SWEPCO customers in Arkansas. Two more additional wind facilities under construction will also go on-line in the near future. Peter Main, spokesperson for SWEPCO, details the North Central Energy Facilities project, in light of SWEPCO's clean energy goals. 

Courtesy / Batesville School District

In 2018, the Batesville School District voted to work with Entegrity Partners to go solar to make room in its budget for salary increases for teachers. Now, Entegrity is working with 20 other school districts to harness the power of the sun to save money. Aside from becoming more affordable overall, Arkansas laws like the Solar Access Act of 2019, have made it more economically feasible for public entities like school districts to make the switch to solar power.

Courtesy / Ozarks Electric Cooperative

 

After back to back winter storms two weeks ago dropped temperatures to as much as negative 20 degrees along with several inches of snow, Arkansans are now bracing for their upcoming utility bills. Energy company representatives told lawmakers in a hearing this week that high demand and short supply dramatically drove up the price of natural gas and all modes of energy production performed less than optimally during several days of brutal weather.

Courtesy / John Coleman

The state's first net zero new construction, mixed use building is going up in Fayetteville. Entegrity Partners is building its new offices across the street from the library expansion. Besides offices, the building will also include one bedroom apartments. Entegrity is offsetting the structure's energy consumption with solar panels and energy efficient design.

Courtesy / Heather Nelson, Seal Solar

Seal Solar has flipped the switch on the state's largest county-owned solar array. The 5,400-panel system is part of Washington County's $8 million energy efficiency measures, lead by Johnson Controls. The solar project includes solar panels on two county buildings and a solar array on 2.5 acres in south Fayetteville.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

With the ceremonial flipping of a switch, the City of Fayetteville is running 72 percent of its facilities on renewable energy. On Friday, representatives from the city, Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Today's Power Inc. celebrated the construction of three solar farms that will be used to power the city's two wastewater treatment plants.

Courtesy / Clarksville Light & Water

The City of Clarksville is going for a first in Arkansas by expanding its solar power plant to run 100 percent of its city operations on renewable energy. The city is already generating some of its electricity from a 6.5-megawatt solar power plant that was built in 2017 and this year, Clarksville Connected Utilities will be adding another 2.86-megawatt facility.

A measure to encourage independent solar energy installation and generation in Arkansas has passed the state legislature. The Solar Access Act was passed on March 12. We hear from the bill's lead sponsor and from an environmental advocate.

courtesy: University of Arkansas

Electrical engineering professor Yue Zhao was awarded $3.4 million to advance solar power technology that could further modernize the nation's electric grid. Part of the award comes from the U.S. Department of Energy, which has a goal of cutting the cost of solar electricity by 50 percent by 2030. Zhao's research focuses on developing a silicon-carbide solar inverter with the intention of lowering the cost of electricity produced by solar parks.

J. Froelich / KUAF

This year, Flint Richter took time out from his thriving solar business to install solar resources at no cost at an impoverished orphanage in Haiti as well as a camp by the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.

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