Southern Arkansas University Tech and Today’s Power have broken ground on a new 1-mega-watt solar facility that is designed to fulfill over half of the university’s energy needs.
The solar facility, which will be located near Holly Springs, is a 10-acre project featuring single-axis technology with 3,344 panels. According to a Today’s Power press release, the facility is designed to be sustainable for 20 to 25 years.
SAU Tech Chancellor Dr. Jason Morris said the solar facility is one way in which the university can be fiscally responsible and energy friendly. “We believe that it is our responsibility and goal as a state-funded college to use all the means available to us to be fiscally responsible. Creating an avenue for sustainable, renewable, energy for our campus is a great example of an action toward that goal. We are grateful for all the hard work the Ouachita Electric Cooperative (OECC) and Today’s Power have invested toward the success of this project,” he said.
The solar array is projected to save SAU Tech approximately $105,000 annually. Through the solar array, SAU Tech will gather roughly 70 percent of its energy while Ouachita Electric Cooperative will provide the remaining 30 percent of SAU Tech’s energy needs.
“We are so proud to have been selected to partner with SAU Tech and Ouachita Electric in developing this project. The unique ownership partnership with SAU Tech makes us partners for the next 20 years and I couldn’t think of any other institution that fits our culture so well,” said Michael W. Henderson, President of TPI. “This project has had to overcome a lot of hurdles with educating and obtaining Arkansas Public Service Commission approval and withstanding aggressive challenges by traditional utilities who sought to prevent this Net Metering transaction structure.”
The SAU Tech solar array is Today’s Power’s 23rdproject to date.