Solar plants to power all government operations for Camden, Ouachita County

Plants to produce more than 9.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year

Talk Business & Politics

Solar power developer Scenic Hill Solar of North Little Rock announced Thursday (June 6) a partnership with the city of Camden and Ouachita County to build a 6.5-megawatt solar power system that will provide enough electricity to power all their governmental operations with solar energy.

The south-central Arkansas city and county, with a combined population of about 35,600 people, would be the first city and county combination in the state to power all their operations with solar energy, according to a news release. The solar power system, which is expected to start operating in late 2019 or early 2020, will also provide renewable energy for Camden Water Utilities and Ouachita County Medical Center.

“This partnership between Camden, Ouachita County and Scenic Hill Solar allows us to reduce our carbon footprint while saving money for our citizens,” Mayor Julian Lott said. “We will reduce our spending on electricity, we will have a long-term hedge against electricity price increases, and we can improve the sustainability of our operations. We are excited to partner with Ouachita County to become the first city and county combination in Arkansas to target 100% solar electricity for all our governmental operations.”

Scenic Hill Solar will build, own and operate the solar power system that will be on land leased from Ouachita County. It will comprise multiple power plants and their individual sizes and exact locations have yet to be determined, said Bill Halter, CEO of Scenic Hill Solar. The city of Camden and Ouachita County will purchase power from the plants, according to terms of a solar power services agreement. The agreement will be for 20 years and include two five-year options to extend, Halter said.

“Adding the solar power plants allows the city of Camden and Ouachita County to be on the cutting edge of renewable power for the future,” County Judge Robert McAdoo said. “We are excited about the budget savings and the economic development benefits from the investments being made in our community by Scenic Hill Solar.” READ MORE.

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