Clarksville to build second solar plant

by Hannah Bulter

CLARKSVILLE -- The Clarksville City Council recently agreed to build a second solar plant in the city.

The second plant will be able to deliver a peak of around two megawatts.

Unlike the solar plant finished in January 2018 that is setup with a tracker system to track the sun from the east to the west during the day, the second project will be setup as a stationary plant.

The construction will begin within the second half of this year and will be taken on by Scenic Hills Solar, the company which started construction for the first solar plant in 2017.

"The reason why plant two is happening is because the economics work. We're saving our customers money compared to the energy and transmission cost that we currently have," John Lester, general manager of Clarksville Connected Utilities, said. "I think that we want the moniker of saying we're going to be the first municipal in the state whose internal needs are met with 100% renewable and solar energy."

The second plant will be on the Clarksville Connected Utilities facility property, east of its buildings at 710 East Main.

With the second solar plant built, Clarksville's government entities will all be fueled by 100% renewable energy, according to Bill Halter of Scenic Hills Solar.

"When they achieve it, they will likely be the first in Arkansas to do so," Halter said.

The first solar plant has 20,000 panels and is able to generate energy for about 25% of Clarksville's households, according to Lester.

"That project has exceeded expectations," Lester said. "It has produced the energy that it was projected to produce."

A feature called peak shaving allows generation of energy when the city needs it the most.

"This power plant is by far the largest solar power plant for a municipal electric utility in Arkansas," Lester said.

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