SATCO Company Becomes First Solar Powered Telephone Company
Today’s Power, Inc. builds 120 kW solar system to power 100% of South Arkansas Telephone Company
LITTLE ROCK & HAMPTON, ARK.—December 11, 2017, South Arkansas Telephone Company (SATCO), a member of Ouachita Electric Cooperative (OECC), partnered with their utility and Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) to install a 120-kW solar array at their Hampton-based location. With the completion of this array, SATCO has officially become the 1st Solar Powered Telephone Company.
TPI, a Little Rock-based subsidiary of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, Inc. (AECI) supplied the engineering services, procurement, and installation of the 120 kW Commercial Solar Array. The array which consists of a fixed racking system and 400-325-watt panels will produce approximately 4,825,000 kWh’s over its 25-year life-span.
TPI has offered utility-scale systems to electric cooperatives who are unable to take advantage of tax incentives since 2015, and with that success started offering systems to commercial clients to take advantage of the 30% ITC.
By partnering with TPI and OECC, SATCO was able to guarantee electricity expenses for the next 25 years and go green with 100% solar. Theses saving in expenses will allow SATCO to invest in more fiber to the home for our customers allowing more services at lower costs.
According to General Manager and CEO of OECC, Mark Cayce, “We are trying to make South Arkansas the most technologically developed, energy efficient, and the greenest part of the state. We want to encourage more businesses that utilize solar and energy efficiency that they are welcome in our area. We welcome your green business.”
OECC and SATCO are investing millions to improve the quality of life in southern Arkansas for our members and customers. We believe that our partnership is the catalyst for future growth for our customers.
Cayce says, “Today’s Power has given South Arkansas the opportunity to be a leader in the solar development of Arkansas, and now with our (OECC & SATCO) ability to provide fiber the future for south Arkansas, in general, is very bright, and we are looking forward to the sun shining.”
Since Arkansas currently has one of the lowest rates of households with a broadband internet subscription, SATCO’s Mark Lundy says, “the telecommunication industry has to change 100% to keep pace with all new and exciting IOT (Internet of Things). We believe going solar with TPI and OECC is a great start to all the changes coming to our industry. Both the energy and communications industry have great change coming soon with things like solar and broadband, we think both companies are positioned nicely to excel for our customers and owners.”
As some trusted resources in their community, Ouachita Electric Cooperative and SATCO formed ARIS in 2017 with the goal of creating access to broadband in South Arkansas. Since being formed, ARIS has installed over 100 miles of fiber across South Arkansas.