New Solar + Battery Energy Storage System to be Installed in Lincoln
Ozarks Electric Cooperative is partnering with Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) to create a new 2.7-megawatt (MW) solar park on 25 acres of land near Lincoln, Arkansas to provide renewable energy to multi-industry entities including the City of Springdale, Elkins Public Schools, Lincoln Public Schools and OzarksGo. This will be Ozarks’ third large-scale solar project and is expected to produce over 4 million kilowatt hours within its first year of service. The solar park will also include approximately 7 megawatts of energy storage that Ozarks Electric will utilize to reduce wholesale demand charges.
This solar park will allow members to receive the financial benefits of solar power without having an expensive up-front cost by utilizing a third-party leasing mechanism with an integrated land acquisition approach. The collaboration with Today’s Power allows Ozarks to optimize its grid and substations by strategically placing the solar park in an area to assist in load management to the substation.
“As technology and innovation in the renewable energy sector continue to grow, Ozarks believes that renewable energy will be an increasingly important part of our member’s lives,” said Mitchell Johnson, president and CEO of Ozarks Electric. “We are pleased to partner with Today’s Power to provide solar solutions for our members.”
Each participant in the solar park will use separate metering to allow the energy produced to be billed to each customer under a solar power service agreement. Today’s Power will construct, own, operate and maintain the solar park for the participating members, as well as the battery storage for Ozarks.
Each participating organization will have different usage as well as significant anticipated savings. The solar park is estimated to save the participating entities more than $3 million over 20 years.
“We are always happy to help cooperatives and their members find ways to leverage renewable energy, and this solar park will be a great example,” said Michael Henderson, president of Today’s Power. “Partnerships like these show that with cooperation and innovation, everyone can benefit from renewable energy.”
Planning and engineering for the construction of the solar park are currently underway, with a goal of completing the facility by June 2021. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in early 2021 to mark the beginning of construction and more information will be available at that time.