State's largest solar power plant planned for Stuttgart


    Stuttgart is known for ducks in the sky, but it's something else up there among the clouds a power company is hoping to bank on.

    The place could become the home of a 81-megawatt solar power system for Entergy. It will be the state's largest solar power plant.

    "We would be the first in the state with something as big as 81 megawatts that can power 13,000 homes and in Arkansas County, that's a good amount of families getting their energy from the sun," said Sally Graham, Entergy spokeswoman.

    The project will consist of solar panels covering nearly 500 acres. A new substation will be built in Arkansas County to interconnect the solar facility to Entergy Arkansas' transmission system.

    As part of the planning process for the project, Entergy Arkansas entered into a power purchase agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the developer of the solar facility and one of the country's largest solar energy providers, for all of the energy and environmental attributes, including all renewable energy credits available from the project.

    The construction could bring 200 to 300 new jobs to the area.

    "What we're hearing so far is that this a great boon, it's bringing in jobs during the construction phase. It's also going to be a stake in the ground that it's right there in Arkansas County, Graham said.

    The agreement fixes the energy price for the 20-year term of the contract, an important benefit for all Entergy Arkansas customers, and is estimated to provide approximately $25 million of savings over its 20-year term.

    The Sierra Club of Arkansas issued a statement about the planned plant.

    "The clean energy revolution has now officially begun in The Natural State. As our first home-grown renewable energy project, this is a truly historic announcement. The Sierra Club congratulates both Stuttgart Solar, Entergy, and NextEra on this move and looks forward to welcoming Arkansas solar energy into our state's power supply."

    Entergy has filed a power purchase agreement with state and hopes to hear back on that within 6 months. The project is planned to be completed by 2019.

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