Solar power is becoming increasingly common in Arkansas. While Arkansas is still catching up to other parts of the country, it is making steady progress in becoming a force in the solar industry. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranked Arkansas as only 46th in the nation for solar in 2017, but by 2018, it was ranked 18th.
Seal Solar is one of the companies that is helping to chart the way for Arkansas in solar installation. While the company previously had a range of energy services, it recently divested its heating and air unit and its energy efficiency units to Smart Comfort of Little Rockand Custom Insulation and Supply Inc. of Hot Springs, respectively.
The company recently installed 80 solar panels at Deer Creek Mini Storage, making the Cabot facility the first self-storage facility in Arkansas to be solar-powered. The new solar array will produce approximately 40,000 kilowatts of power.
According to Seal Solar co-founder and chief operating officer Heather Nelson, the facility received significant tax incentives that enabled it to install solar panels.
“Thanks to state and federal incentives, including the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit, solar is more affordable than ever,” Nelson said. “We were proud to team up with Alese Stroud and Deer Creek Mini Storage on this innovative and cost-effective solar design and installation project.”
The 30-percent tax credit, though, is set to expire in 2019. The deduction will drop to 26 percent in 2020, followed by 22 percent in 2021. By 2022 and after, there are no plans to offer a tax credit for residential solar installations. However, there will be a 10 percent deduction for commercial installations.
“Deer Creek Mini Storage has expansive rooftops, abundant sun exposure and eco-conscious consumers, “ Alese Stroud, owner of Deer Creek Mini Storage, said. “Environmentally and financially, solar was the right choice for us.”
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, there have been 947 solar installations in 2019 (through the first quarter). To date, there has been $185.27 million in solar investment in Arkansas with $139.87 million generated in just 2018.