The newest solar generation source in the Entergy Arkansas portfolio of renewable resources is online and pumping power onto the electric grid, officials recently announced. The Searcy Solar Energy Center is among the first in the state to include battery storage and can store 30 megawatts to provide power rain or shine.
Searcy Solar is one of three plants producing solar power for Entergy Arkansas customers, adding 100 MW to the previous 181 MW already online. It joins Stuttgart Solar, an 81 MW facility, and Chicot Solar at Lake Village, a 100 MW facility, both of which are under long term contracts between Entergy Arkansas and subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources. These solar energy resources are projected to save customers more than $190 million and will help protect the environment for many years to come.
“Solar energy is clean, renewable, abundant and cost-effective,” said Entergy Arkansas President and CEO Laura Landreaux. “It is a smart way to increase our electricity supply, and the battery storage at this facility will keep power flowing even when the sun isn’t shining.”
Solar generation provides a large amount of power over the course of the year with no added fuel costs, helping to provide lower cost energy – especially during peak, summer afternoon hours when there is a large demand for power.
As part of its ongoing dedication to economic development and renewable resources, Entergy Arkansas has another 280 MW under development and recently issued a request for proposals for up to 500 MW of solar and wind capacity to add to its electricity generating portfolio by 2026.
“Adding renewable energy to our diverse mix of power generation sources is part of our strategy for keeping rates low for existing customers and remaining more competitive for businesses looking to expand or locate their next operation in Arkansas,” said Landreaux. “We have a rich tradition of working with our community, government and business partners, and we are excited to be able to continue providing economic renewable energy to new and existing customers.”
Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Buck Layne said, “Not only did this solar project provide local jobs, we believe it will also help us retain and recruit businesses that will help all of White County continue to grow with a focus on low rates and renewable energy. Additionally, we expect local annual tax revenue to be approximately $900,000.”
Entergy’s Portfolio Transformation
Entergy Corporation owns and operates one of the cleanest large-scale U.S. power generating fleets across four service territories, with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 7,000 megawatts of nuclear power. In 2021, Entergy announced plans to triple its renewable energy portfolio over a three-year period, as well as achieve 11 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. The Searcy Solar facility in Arkansas is another important milestone in Entergy Corporation’s continued transformation of its power generation portfolio, meeting customers’ needs with clean, efficient sources of electricity while maintaining some of the lowest retail rates in the country. The three solar plants in the state will comprise 5% of Entergy Arkansas’ available generating capacity by 2023.
ABOUT ENTERGY ARKANSAS
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 722,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR), an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy delivers electricity to three million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $10 billion and approximately 12,500 employees.