Representatives of the City of Alma, Arkansas gathered with the community and Entegrity to commemorate powering on their new solar array with a “Flip the Switch” ceremony. The 520-kilowatt array was built on a brownfield site, making land that would otherwise be unusable a lucrative asset to the community. The array is the first of two that, once both are constructed, will create $50,000 in energy savings in the first year and a lifetime savings of over $2,000,000.
While city leaders had explored the prospect of solar energy for years, the project economics significantly improved after the Solar Access Act passed in 2019. Senator Bob Ballinger and Representative Bruce Coleman voted in favor of the Solar Access Act and made this array possible for the City of Alma.
“I’m excited to see communities I serve take advantage of legislation we’ve worked so hard to pass. Projects like this change the places we call home for the better by bringing economic growth and opportunities,” stated State Senator Ballinger.
“I want to congratulate Mayor Martin and the city council for the successful completion of this project, one that will work to bring significant investment to the community. Thank you for your public stewardship through this tumultuous year.” added Representative Coleman.
Mayor Jerry Martin looks forward to the array’s possibilities, stating that “smaller cities like Alma can take advantage of solar savings thanks to the Solar Access Act. The city budget directly affects our people, so I want to thank state leaders for the opportunity to free up funds. Our savings will allow us to reduce taxpayer burden, provide a cushion to weather future storms, and invest in the economic development of Alma.”
Arkansas cities are using solar to reach financial goals and create local jobs. As the renewable energy industry grows and the country moves toward decarbonization, Arkansas can stay ahead of the curve with proactive policy. Endorsers of the Solar Access Act have stepped up for consumers, bringing investment to their communities and improving their quality of life.
— Solar Builder magazine