Ozarks Electric Cooperative, Springdale Public Schools and Today's Power flipped the ceremonial switch Aug. 22, 2022, on a new 2.375-megawatt solar and battery storage facility near Sonora Middle School.
The solar array consists of more than 7,000 panels on 15 acres of land. The panels include technology that allows them to track the movement of the sun to maximize power generation.
“We believe that this system will remain strong and continue to provide an effective renewable energy solution for our members for years to come,” said Mitchell Johnson, Ozarks Electric president and CEO.
The project also contains 6.9 megawatts of battery storage to be used by Ozarks Electric, he said, and will save members and Ozarks Electric about $2.3 million over the next 25 years.
Combining solar generation with battery storage will allow Springdale Schools to offset about 95% of the total energy consumed by Don Tyson School of Innovation, Sonora Middle School and Sonora Elementary School while helping Ozarks reduce its wholesale demand costs.
“Having an opportunity to earn back what we use as far as energy for those three schools was a major savings for our district,” said Dr. Jared Cleveland, Springdale Public Schools superintendent. “I think our taxpayers would appreciate it.”
Ozarks and TPI have demonstrated this concept with previous projects, such as the Fayetteville wastewater treatment system and the Ozarks Multi-Industry solar park.
Derek A. Dyson, Today’s Power president and CEO, said Today’s Power will continue to move forward with such innovative projects in the future as well.
“Our goal is to continue to serve the community,” Dyson said. “We're going to continue to track innovation and opportunities.”
Ozarks Electric, incorporated in 1938, is a member-owned electric cooperative, serving more than 79,000 meters across nine counties in Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma. Ozarks Electric operates a 1-megawatt community solar facility called Ozarks Natural Energy, with shares available to members. In 2016, Ozarks Electric launched OzarksGo, a locally-owned telecommunications subsidiary offering all-fiber gigabit internet, HDTV and telephone services to cooperative residential and commercial customers. For more information about Ozarks Electric, visit www.ozarksecc.com.
Springdale Public Schools has 31 campuses in Washington County and an enrollment of approximately 23,000 students in pre-kindergarten through the twelfth grade. For more information about Springdale Public Schools, visit www.sdale.org.
Today’s Power, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based utility service cooperative owned by 17 Arkansas electric distribution cooperatives. Today’s Power, Inc. offers turn-key solar photovoltaic systems, energy storage systems, electric vehicles and charging stations for all sizes and applications. Today’s Power has over 70 systems located in Arkansas, Kansas, Tennessee, etc. For more information about Today’s Power, visit www.todayspower.com.ower, visit www.todayspower.com.