Arkansas boots up 10-MW solar, 24-MWh storage facility in Fayetteville
The City of Fayetteville, Arkansas, is now home to one of the first large-scale solar-plus-storage systems in the mid-South, a joint project between the city, Ozarks Electric Cooperative, and Today’s Power Inc. (TPI).
“This project is a demonstration for how integrated solar and batteries can together deliver dispatchable electricity into the grid when it is needed, whether or not the sun is available at that moment,” said TPI President Michael Henderson. “Early renewable adopters had to change their lifestyle to enjoy renewable energy but with storage, the consumer can live a normal lifestyle.”
The project consists of three solar arrays and two battery facilities sited near Fayetteville’s two water treatment facilities. With a capacity of 10 MW of solar and 24 MWh of energy storage, the installation will save the city approximately $180,000 per year and help power the city’s largest power users — the Paul R. Noland Wastewater Treatment Facility (east Fayetteville) and the Westside Water Treatment facility.
When electricity generated by the solar tracking systems exceeds the demand of the wastewater treatment facilities, energy will be distributed to the grid for use by cooperative members or to the on-site battery storage systems which can be dispatched into the grid during peak usage periods.
Work on the $23 million system started in March, and power generation began in July. The Fayetteville community is moving closer to several objectives in its Energy Action Plan through this collaboration, ensuring that residents and future generations can inherit a clean planet. City officials aim to have 100% clean, cost-efficient power by 2030.
“Climate change is affecting cities around the world,” said Mayor Lioneld Jordan. “The City of Fayetteville is committed to honoring goals of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Climate Agreement, starting right here in our own community. We want to lead by example for our residents, students, businesses, and utility partners — showing the nation that supporting low-carbon initiatives not only promotes renewable energy and efficiency — it also creates opportunities for good jobs and investments in the Northwest Arkansas region. This incredible project demonstrates Fayetteville’s commitment.”
Today’s Power designed this distinctive system to upgrade electrical systems at the wastewater treatment facilities and enable Fayetteville to move closer to attaining its clean energy goals. Northern Reliability designed and constructed the solar-plus-storage project. Ozarks Electric Cooperative upgraded existing on-site electrical connections and is accountable for maintenance. TPI will retain 99% ownership of the solar system and 1% will be owned by the City. TPI will have complete storage system ownership and operation.