A new solar project in Jonesboro will increase the potential for Arkansas community solar programs. The 13.25-megawatt solar power system is being developed via a partnership of City Water and Light and TurningPoint Energy. The goal after construction is completed is to deliver more renewable energy to the community, including through new community solar programs.
Development of the new solar site is scheduled for the summer of 2021. It’s expected to go online and start producing power by December of the same year. According to City Water and Light manager, Jake Rice, the new solar plant is part of the effort to cease coal production at plants in Independence and White Bluff by 2030.
Through its partnership with TurningPoint Energy, City Water and Light hopes to reduce the burden of higher energy bills for residential and commercial customers. By pushing clean, renewable energy, new Arkansas community solar programs will be able to emerge and give customers the option to opt-in for credits on their utility bills.
Before construction could begin, the partnership had to perform feasibility studies to find an optimum location. The process ultimately led to a 98-acre stretch of land near Great Dane Drive and Nestle Way in Jonesboro. The site won’t impede residential regions and, according to TurningPoint Energy president Jared Schoch, it will provide a location for seamless resource generation.
Development of the new solar site will bring jobs into Arkansas. It’s estimated to bring in approximately 125 jobs, including engineers, consultants, and construction positions. Upon completion, the site is slated to generate approximately 24,292 megawatts within the first year.
The new system is the first of its kind for City Water and Light, who will have complete ownership over it upon completion. TurningPoint Energy is a development company that specializes in clean energy and will oversee the construction.
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