Berryville School District broke ground today on a solar system that will cover 80 percent of the district’s electricity consumption. Investing in a solar array with a capacity of one megawatt (MW) near its campus, the project will include over 3,000 solar panels.
According to Berryville Superintendent, Owen Powell, “Berryville School District wants to be good stewards of our resources. Investing in utility-scale solar is the most cost-effective way to benefit all who work and learn in Berryville Schools, while also investing in a green, clean, renewable source of generation right here in our own community.”
Berryville Schools were able to obtain very competitive long-term rates with Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) by partnering with the Barnibus Team out of Bentonville to conduct the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. In addition, the solar arrays will be customized during the design process to ensure optimum performance. The school would only be responsible for purchasing the kilowatt-hours (kWh) produced by the system, but not for its ongoing operation and maintenance. All of these factors work together to keep the cost of electricity stable and manageable for the district.
The solar array will be developed and owned by TPI; a North Little Rock-based company founded by Arkansas’ rural electric cooperatives. TPI is one of the largest renewable energy companies headquartered in Arkansas with projects totaling more than $108 million in investments.
Berryville School District has signed a solar power service agreement (SPSA) with TPI to buy solar energy provided by the solar array for the next 25 years. This form of arrangement guarantees that the district is not exposed to or responsible for the continuing costs of maintaining and operating the solar system.
“TPI is proud to be partnering with Berryville Schools. With this solar array, the district will produce green energy, which will benefit all of its students by lowering the school’s energy costs. In addition, it will be an excellent educational resource. It’s rare that one project will help so many students, teachers, and staff,” says TPI President Michael Henderson.
The 1-MW solar array for the Berryville School District is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
ABOUT The mission of the Berryville School District is to ensure that every student who graduates has the knowledge and skills to be independent, self-sufficient, and responsible adults who will succeed, contribute, and compete effectively in a 21st century global economy. The Berryville School Board is committed to creating an environment where every child achieves at high levels, and is safe, valued, and respected. The Board of Education will work with all stakeholders to support this effort by working collectively, collaboratively, and communicating effectively with parents, faculty, staff, students, and community partners to ensure the values, behaviors, and expectations necessary to achieve this shared educational purpose.
CONTACT: Owen Powell – Superintendent
Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) is one of the nation’s most experienced renewable energy companies with more utility-scale projects than any Arkansas-based company. A wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., TPI is a full-service provider able to carry out all phases of any solar or battery storage project including, but not limited to, full bill / rate analysis, site evaluation, engineering procurement, design, commissioning, monitoring, operating, and maintaining projects.