Entegrity Building Eureka Springs Solar Plant; City Expects $750K Savings

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Entegrity of Little Rock announced Wednesday a deal to install a solar power generation system for Eureka Springs that is expected to save the city $750,000 in electricity costs over the next 25 years.

The energy services and solar development company said the project stands as an example of the kind of economic development projects authorized by Arkansas Solar Access Act of 2019, which Entegrity said improved its economics significantly.

Eureka Springs had seen the potential of solar power for years, especially as a means of cutting costs at wastewater facilities and city offices, officials said. “We’ve been working with Entegrity since last fall to bring this project to fruition,” Eureka Springs Mayor Butch Berry said in a statement. “We evaluated proposals from multiple energy services companies, conducted research, and ultimately chose Entegrity. They offered us what we considered the best path toward achieving our goal of sustainability and maximizing our savings.”

The 375-kilowatt solar array will be somewhere in Carroll County. “We’re still nailing down the details on location,” Entegrity Marketing and Communications Director Christine Keene told Arkansas Business. “Right now the news is that they’ve pulled the trigger on the project.”

Under an agreement with the city, Entegrity — which has an office in Fayetteville — will own and operate the project, selling Eureka Springs solar power at a set rate over the life of the solar array. That rate is projected to bring the $750,000 in lifetime savings.

The work will include LED lighting upgrades for police and fire stations, the public works office and auditorium, the wastewater treatment plant and the Lake Leatherwood Ballfield. Heating and air upgrades and water-saving features are also included in the deal.

“The goal of any energy project is to find ways to reduce facility-related utility and maintenance costs and reinvest that money into facility upgrades that pay for themselves,” John Coleman, Entegrity’s regional director, said in a news release. “Because the cost savings are guaranteed, the city now has a no-risk solution to improve its facilities, providing a positive impact on operating budgets.”

Berry, the mayor, said the project would generate immediate savings, give the city greater energy independence, and enhance its commitment “to protecting the long-term environmental interests of the city.”

Entegrity praised the work of Arkansas legislators, including Republican state Sen. Bob Ballinger and Republican Rep. Harlan Breaux, for work on the solar law last year, which has “kick-started Arkansas’ renewable energy sector, resulting in job growth throughout the state amid a wave of new solar projects,” the release said.