NextEra Energy and Entergy Arkansas broke ground on an 81-megawatt solar project farm near Stuttgart, AR, that will alone be nearly four times larger than the state’s existing 21 megawatts of installed solar. The Stuttgart Solar Energy Center is the largest solar project in the state’s history and expected to provide Arkansas County with $8 million in additional revenue during its operational lifetime, much of which will go to fund the Arkansas County Public School District.
Arkansas is primarily powered by coal and natural gas, yet solar is planting some seeds there. "This project allows Entergy Arkansas to diversify our power generation in the state and provide our customers with access to emissions-free, renewable energy at a good price," said Rick Riley, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas. "In NextEra Energy Resources we have an experienced partner to build and operate a project that will deliver tremendous value to our customers.”
The project will create up to 250 jobs during its 9-month construction invigorating the economy in Arkansas County and surrounding areas. The project will not only benefit the local construction industry but is expected to deliver increased business in other sectors like the service industry, health care and the housing market.
"This project will provide good jobs, and Arkansas County businesses will benefit from the extra activity, too," said Bethany Hildebrand, executive director and CEO of the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce. "We are thrilled to host the state's largest solar facility and help realize the benefits it can bring to our community.”
The Stuttgart Solar Energy Center covers 475 acres and consists of more than 350,000 photovoltaic panels. The new facility is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately 13,000 homes annually. Developed, owned and operated by NextEra Energy, the project will provide electricity to Entergy's customers under a 20-year power purchase agreement.Tweet