by Tyler Hale
Southeast Arkansas will be the site of the largest utility-scale solar energy project in the state.
Entergy Arkansas and NextEra Energy Resources broke ground today on the Chicot Solar Energy Center, which is billed as the “largest universal, utility-scale solar energy project” in Arkansas. The new solar facility, located near Lake Village, is expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity – enough to power approximately 18,000 homes.
“Entergy Arkansas is already the largest solar provider in the state, and this project allows us to increase what we can provide for our customers,” Entergy Arkansas president and CEO Laura Landreaux said in a statement. “Large-scale, universal solar allows us to provide the benefits of renewable energy to all of our 700,000 customers at an economic price.”
The solar facility will sit on 825 acres and contain 350,000 solar panels. NextEra Energy Resources, which is developing and building the solar facility, will also own and operate it.
Entergy Arkansas and NextEra Energy have signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for the solar energy project.
According to an Entergy news release, the project is projected to create $7 million in revenue for Chicot County, as well as create roughly 150 jobs during the construction phase of the project.
“This project will bring good jobs, tax benefits and affordable, renewable energy to the state for decades to come,” said John Ketchum, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources. “We are pleased to continue to work with our partners at Entergy Arkansas to bring economic, renewable energy to customers and introduce another universal solar project of this scale in Arkansas.”
Entergy Arkansas has previously partnered with NextEra Energy on several projects, including an 81 MW solar facility near Stuttgart. The companies have also announced plans for a 100 MW solar facility in White County near Searcy, which would feature a battery capable of storing up to 30 MW hours of electricity.