The city of Greenwood is opening two solar farms that will power city-owned buildings.
The first project should begin offering the city power by the end of October, said Bill Halter, who is Scenic Hill Solar's CEO. Scenic Hill Solar is the company building the solar farms.
The farms are being built at no cost to the city, but the company will sell the generated power to the city.
The first solar plant is on about 10 acres of land bordering the water treatment facility, Kinslow said. The solar farm takes up about six of the 10 acres. The city bought the land for about $40,000.
The cost of solar electricity is 5.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, Halter said. According to the release, the solar farms will cost Scenic Hill Solar approximately $1.7 million to complete.
The solar farms will provide 50% of the city’s government and municipal operations’ energy needs, according to a city press release.
“We would love for the whole city to be on them," Mayor Doug Kinslow said.
The two solar plants are estimated to save the city $48,000 per year and approximately $1.9 million over 28 years.
They will produce more than 1,448,670 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year
and more than 40,200,780 kilowatt-hours over 30 years.
“If we hadn't had to buy land it would’ve been no investment," Kinslow said.
The second solar plant should be completed in about six months. That project is on about five acres already owned by the city near Greenwood Lake.
“To me, it was about as no brainer as anything I’ve ever run across," Kinslow said about his decision to approve the solar farms.
He said the move to solar power was about saving the city money and doing the right thing.
“Just with the situation of the world these days I think it’s important to reach out and do what we can to do our part," Kinslow said.
Halter agreed and said it is important for government entities to consider solar power for a variety of reasons including cutting the nation's dependence on foreign oil and reducing a carbon footprint.
“You put all those things together and it's a win for the community across multiple fronts," Halter said.
Alex Gladden is a University of Arkansas graduate. She previously reported for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and The Jonesboro Sun before joining the Times Record. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Written by Alex Gladden