Turning Sunshine into Electricity
Entergy Arkansas is embracing solar energy in a big way. We are the largest provider of solar power in Arkansas. This began with Stuttgart Solar, an 81-megawatt facility built on almost 500 acres in Arkansas County near Stuttgart. Our partner, NextEra Energy Resources, owns and operates this solar farm, and we purchase and deliver all the power it produces.
In the fall of 2020 we added Chicot Solar, a 100-megawatt facility at Lake Village. This plant, like Stuttgart Solar, was built in partnership with NextEra Energy Resources.
Our third project is a 100-megawatt solar farm in White County near Searcy. This facility will be Entergy's first to build and operate. It includes plans for battery storage so customers can receive solar power even when the sun is not shining. Searcy Solar is scheduled to be online in late 2021.
The most recent announcement is a 900-acre, 100-megawatt solar farm near Brinkley in Lee County. Pending approval by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Walnut Bend will be designed and built by Invenergy Renewables, LLC, and, upon completion, will be purchased by Entergy Arkansas. Walnut Bend Solar should be providing power to Entergy Arkansas customers by the end of 2022.
The four resources combined will generate 381 megawatts of power for Entergy Arkansas customers, enough to power about 61,000 homes. Total investment is more than $300 million, with net customer benefits of more than $170 million over the life of the facilities. These utility-scale solar projects, unlike smaller solar projects, including rooftop systems, allow us to provide cleaner energy and keep the price of your power affordable. Sunshine is free, but land and solar equipment are not. Also, unlike customer-owned/lease systems, customers benefit from our utility-scale solar farms at no risk. If something breaks, it's ours to fix. If one source of power fails, we have an entire electrical grid to pick up the slack.
Solar power is a growing part of our diversified mix of power sources.
How to Go Solar
For customers who are especially interested in supporting and consuming renewable power, Entergy Arkansas is offering a way to subscribe to power from our utility-scale solar farms. While the power supplied to your home or business comes from a variety of different sources flowing through the grid, we designate blocks of that power as Renewable Energy Credits. A subscribing customer agrees to buy a certain number of Renewable Energy Credits over a period of time, and we suspend the corresponding number of RECs on the customer's behalf.
For some organizations, such as certain governmental and tax-exempt entities, a new law in Arkansas -- the Solar Access Act -- has opened up opportunities for solar power generation. Pending before the Arkansas Public Service Commission is a measure that would allow Entergy Arkansas to offer these qualifying organizations access to renewable energy as part of an amended offering: the Solar Energy Purchase Option - Option B (SEPO-B) solar tariff. This would allow them to both take advantage of the environmental benefits of solar energy and possibly reduce their monthly bill. As your electricity provider -- and an energy leader in the state of Arkansas for more than a century -- Entergy Arkansas wants to help you make an informed decision about the best options for your organization to access solar power.
To subscribe to the solar tariff, customers should contact the Entergy Business Center at 1-800-766-1648 or visit the website https://entergyarkansas.com/solaroption. Participation requires a one-year agreement, which can be renewed annually, and participating customers will receive their bill as usual with all applicable charges based on their usage. There will be a separate line item on the bill for the solar energy option. To subscribe to the solar tariff, customers should contact the Entergy Business Center at 1-800-766-1648 or visit the website https://entergyarkansas.com/solaroption. For questions or to get more information on SEPO-B, you may email email@example.com.