The Searcy Solar project in White County will be the largest utility-owned solar project in the state and the first to feature battery storage.
When completed in 2021, it will be the third project generating solar energy for Entergy Arkansas’ customers, bringing the total of solar energy to 281 MW covering more than 2,000 acres. The Stuttgart Solar Energy Center has been producing 81 MW of solar energy since 2018, and Chicot Solar, under construction near Lake Village, will provide 100 MW of solar power when it comes online later this year.
“Entergy Arkansas is proud to be expanding solar power in our state, and we are committed to meeting our customers’ energy needs reliably, affordably and safely as we have done for over 100 years,” says Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas.
“Large-scale solar facilities provide the most cost-effective solar power for all customers, keeping rates low while delivering the best value for renewables in Arkansas,” she adds.
The Searcy Solar project will be built on approximately 800 acres east of Eastline Road (US 67, Exit 44) in Searcy and will include a 10 MW array of lithium-ion batteries capable of storing up to 30 MW hours of electricity, which is expected to be charged and discharged daily to maximize the value of the solar energy for the benefit of customers.
The Searcy Solar facility will bring 200 temporary construction jobs and two or three permanent jobs, along with periodic maintenance workers. It also will provide about $700,000 in annual property taxes as well as environmental benefits through emissions-free energy.
Photo: A solar facility near Stuttgart