Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative (RMEC) is the latest Arkansas electric cooperative to go solar.
The Mena-based cooperative has partnered with Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) on a 1-megawatt (MW) solar array to supply electricity for local members. The array, which features roughly 3,800 solar panels, is expected to generate mitigate RMEC’s peak energy demand, producing maximum peak power of 1 MW.
“At Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative, our goal is to be a trusted energy advocate for our members. We are pleased that Mena is the home to this 1-megawatt solar array,” RMEC president and CEO Brad Castor said in a statement. “This solar energy project is going to help our cooperative family as well as our local communities. As a non-profit electric cooperative owned by our members, we give back to the people we serve.”
This new solar array is located near RMEC’s headquarters in Mena, off Highway 88.
On Thursday, RMEC and Today’s Power unveiled the completed solar array during a dedication ceremony. The solar array has been dedicated to recently retired RMEC president and CEO Leon Philpot who departed the company on July 2, 2020 after 58 years of service to the company. The array will be named the Leon Philpot Solar Generations Facility.
“Our cooperative network is always working to ensure that we have a variety of power resources to meet membership needs, and renewable energy is an integral part of that strategy,” Philpot said.
TPI president Michael Henderson said the new solar array would be an economic driver for the Mena area for decades to come.
“We are so excited to partner with RMEC to help lower the cost of energy to its members as well as provide economic stimulus to Mena and Polk County for the next 30 years and beyond. It will also generate more tax revenue for the school and county. This new technology is representative of the innovative and progressive spirit that exists in the RMEC community,” he said.
The RMEC solar array marks the 13th project Today’s Power has completed for an Arkansas cooperative. In total, there are 17 electric cooperatives which collectively own the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc.
TPI flipped the switch on its last cooperative solar project in May with the completion of a single-axis tracking array for C&L Electric Cooperative in Star City. More recently, TPI commenced construction on two solar arrays for the Bearden School District in mid-July and completed a solar array for South Central Service Cooperative in Camden in late June.