FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Talk Business & Politics The Fayetteville City Council unanimously voted Tuesday (Nov. 20) to approve a trilateral agreement among the city, Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) for the development, construction and operation of Arkansas’s largest solar power system on municipal land.
In addition to the expected $6 million saved in energy costs over the project’s 20-year lifespan, the city anticipates a complete return on its investment in a little more than three years. The project will also raise clean energy consumption by city facilities from 16% to 72%, taking a huge step toward Fayetteville’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2030.
TPI will manage project construction and provide full operations and maintenance of the solar arrays and energy storage facilities during the 20-year agreement, leasing the necessary acreage from the city. The systems will operate on Fayetteville’s two water treatment facility properties — the Paul R. Noland Wastewater Treatment Facility in east Fayetteville and the Westside Water Treatment Facility. Ozarks Electric will upgrade and maintain existing electricity connections at the sites. The city will continue its income-producing hay and bio-solid operations at the Noland facility.
The capacity of the entire system at both locations totals 10 MW of solar power generation and 24 MWh of battery storage on a combined land mass of 87 acres, according to the release. For maximum solar exposure, solar panels will be installed on a sun tracking system that produces 15% more electricity than stationary mounts. Currently, Fayetteville’s wastewater treatment plants are the city’s two largest electricity consuming accounts at approximately 67% of the city’s overall electricity consumption. Through solar net metering, the system will power 100% of the treatment facilities.
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