SAU Tech Partners With Today's Power,
OECC in Solar Project
From left to right: Dr. Corbet Lampkin, Becky W. Keogh, Lang Wells, Gene Hill, Governor Asa Hutchinson, Mark Lundy, and Mark Cayce.
South Arkansas’ march toward solar power got another nudge Friday when Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden broke ground with Today’s Power Inc. of Little Rock on a 1-megawatt array to generate more than two-thirds of the campus’ electricity.
The 10-acre project, featuring single-axis tracking, is in line with projects that TPI has completed for many of the state’s nonprofit electric cooperatives and several other businesses, including Ouachita Electric Cooperative in Camden and South Arkansas Telephone Co. in Hampton (Calhoun County). East Camden is home to the one of the state’s largest solar power generators, the 77-megawatt complex built by Silicon Ranch for Aerojet Rocketdyne’s manufacturing facility in Highland Industrial Park.
SAU Tech’s system will provide a fixed price for electricity for 20-25 years, with savings to be applied to growing the college and educating students.
“We believe that it is our responsibility and goal as a state-funded college to use all the means available to us to be fiscally responsible,” SAU Tech Chancellor Jason Morrison said in a statement. “Creating an avenue for sustainable, renewable energy for our campus is a great example of an action toward that goal. We are grateful for all the hard work that Ouachita Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power have invested toward the success of this project.”
SAU Tech saw the potential in solar power when Today’s Power installed solar power at OECC’s Camden headquarters. A partnership model between SAU Tech and OECC required coordination with the the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, local legislators and the Arkansas Public Service Commission.