Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority cut the ribbon Wednesday on the utility's first solar power plant, a 1.1-megawatt power array in Harrison developed by Scenic Hill Solar of Little Rock.
The project is a public-private partnership, first announced in April 2020, that will offset the water company's power bill by generating electricity in more than 2,500 solar modules.
Andy Anderson, chairman of the water authority, called the power project a "a new chapter for both us and our customers," reflecting a commitment "to providing supplies of safe and plentiful water" in a mission aligned with "reaping the benefits of a renewable energy source and improving our environment while saving money."
Anderson's remarks came in a statement, and a news release quoted former Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, Scenic Hill's CEO, praising Ozark Mountain leaders as "forward-thinking."
"This project will concurrently provide electricity savings to the utility, improve the environment, provide $2 million in local economic development, and attract environmentally conscious business to the local area," Halter's statement said.
Scenic Hill built the power plant and owns and operates it on land it purchased. Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority is buying the solar power in accordance with a 28-year energy services agreement.
The regional public water authority delivers water to more than 20,000 addresses in Boone, Marion, Newton, Searcy, Johnson and Pope counties. The water is drawn from Bull Shoals Lake and is provided to 18 water associations through about 120 miles of water pipeline.
Scenic Hill develops, builds and owns solar energy and storage projects across the state.
Appeared in Arkansas Business
By Kyle Massey