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Scenic Hill Solar of North Little Rock, ending 2019 on a downhill sprint, announced Friday that it is building a 1-megawatt solar power array for the Centerpoint School District near Amity (Clark County).
It was the second job announcement in two days by Scenic Hill, led by former Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, who on Thursday hailed a similar money-saving project for the municipal government of Forrest City.
Centerpoint school officials expect the ground-mounted, fixed-tilt array to save it $40,000 a year, supplying 100 percent renewable energy. The deal will let Centerpoint buy reduced-rate power from the plant without any upfront investment of district funds, officials said.
Schools Superintendent Dan Breshears said the system had been investigating solar opportunities since the Arkansas General Assembly passed the Solar Access Act early this year.
“Scenic Hill Solar demonstrated the greatest ability to meet our needs and deliver savings,” he said in a statement. Solar development, he said, “both provides a model of responsible citizenship for our students and allows us to focus resources on the educational needs of Centerpoint students.”
Halter said the 1,000-student district’s “dual commitment to fiscal responsibility and sustainability” is cause for pride, “a big reason for parents to look to the Centerpoint School District as a place for children to thrive.” He said students will get to meet Scenic Hill team members “who have made careers from their STEM educations,” he said, referring to science, technology, engineering and math.
Construction of the 2,500-solar-panel array is expected to begin soon and should be completed by late next year, Scenic Hill said.
The project will add more than $1.5 million to the local economy in investment by Scenic Hill Solar and will begin construction after all governmental approvals are received. The project is slated for completion and generation of solar electricity in late 2020. The school district covers parts of four counties: Pike, Garland, Hot Spring and Clark.