State and local leaders joined executives from NextEra Energy Resources and Entergy Arkansas this morning to celebrate the commissioning of the Stuttgart Solar Energy Center.
Located approximately seven miles southeast of Stuttgart, Ark., the 81 MW project spans 475 acres and features more than 350,000 PV panels. Construction lasted eight months and generated a significant economic boost to Arkansas County and the state by creating hundreds of construction jobs and stimulating the purchase of regional goods and services from more than a dozen local vendors, according to NextEra.
“Solar energy is good for Arkansans and good for our economy,” said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “Arkansas has many great natural resources. It’s wonderful we are now also utilizing the sun to provide clean energy to the state and drive our economy forward.”
“We are pleased to work with our partners at Entergy to bring the largest solar energy center in Arkansas online,” added Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources. “This solar energy project will provide millions of dollars in additional tax revenue to Arkansas County and will generate cost-effective, homegrown solar energy for Entergy customers for years to come.”
According to NextEra, the project has the capacity to generate 81 MW of electricity, enough to power more than 13,000 homes. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources built the facility and will own and operate it. The energy will serve Entergy Arkansas customers under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
“Over our 105 years in business, Entergy Arkansas has generated power with sawdust, water, coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear and now the sun,” said Rick Riley, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas. “Through this investment with NextEra Energy Resources, we are further diversifying our power generation resource mix and providing Entergy Arkansas customers with access to additional clean, renewable and affordable energy.”
Over its operational life, the Stuttgart Solar Energy Center is expected to generate nearly $8 million in additional revenue for Arkansas County, with much of that funding going to help Arkansas County Public Schools.
“We are already seeing the project’s impacts in Arkansas County through new jobs and school funding,” said Bethany Hildebrand, executive director and CEO of the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce. “We are thrilled to host the state’s largest solar facility and know it will continue to provide benefits to our community.”