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West Arkansas’ version of the city of lights flipped a symbolic solar switch on Thursday as Paris, Arkansas, partnered with Today’s Power Inc. on a 1.5-megawatt municipal solar array that Mayor Daniel Rogers sees as the calling card of a “green community.”
Paris will reap solar savings over 20 years under a deal with Today’s Power, based in North Little Rock, which will finance, own and operate the array on nine acres along North Hickory Street.
“We want to lead by example from the city level on behalf of our residents, students, businesses and utility providers — showing the state and the rest of the country that promoting low-carbon projects not only fosters clean energy and efficiency, it also creates incentives for good employment and investment in the city and area,” Rogers said.
He noted that the project, along with existing hydroelectric and solar sources, will meet 85% of the city’s power needs with renewable energy.
Michael Henderson, president of Today’s Power, said another key partner in the project was Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative, and that the collaboration will be a lure for economic developers looking for sites with sustainable energy initiatives.
The project will “foster economic development which has become a major factor in siting new industrial development,” Henderson said in a statement. Paris is the Logan County seat and has a population of about 3,500.
Today’s Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., is one of the most experienced renewable energy contractors in the state, with more utility-scale solar and storage projects than any in-state competitor, a company news release said.