Lightsource bp and Conway Corp are celebrating the completion of the 135 MW Conway Solar at Happy project in White County, Arkansas. In addition to supplying clean energy to customers of Conway Corp, which operates the city-owned utility system in Conway, Arkansas, the project also features a native pollinator garden.
The solar farm will deliver home-grown, clean energy to Conway Corp under a power purchase agreement with Lightsource bp. Conway Solar is projected to generate enough clean energy to power 21,000 homes.
Lightsource bp developed, financed, constructed, and will operate the project, a $125 million private capital investment in new energy infrastructure for Arkansas.
“Work on this project began in 2019 and it is one of the most significant projects for Conway Corp since our incorporation in 1929,” said Bret Carroll, chief executive officer at Conway Corp. “I’m proud of the team that worked on this project and the way it fulfills key parts of our mission by providing reliable and environmentally sound electricity to our community. I also appreciate our partnership with Lightsource bp, they have been great partners from the very beginning.”
The Conway Solar project not only generates emissions-free energy for healthier air but has created an opportunity to advance pollinator conservation in the area. Working with the Arkansas Monarch Conservation Partnership, Lightsource bp and Conway Corp have established a five-acre native pollinator garden within the solar farm, featuring 46 varieties of Arkansas native plants. This garden is crucial in providing habitat and nectar for at-risk monarch butterflies and other pollinators that support our food supply.
“At Lightsource bp, we believe that a solar farm can be so much more than an energy facility,” Emilie Wangerman, interim chief operating officer at Lightsource bp USA. “By sharing in this vision, our partners at Conway Corp are bringing a host of benefits to their community, from affordable energy to ecosystem health, economic development and beyond.”
Additional key benefits of the project include:
- Clean energy generation: The project contributes to Conway Corp’s diversified energy mix, supporting their mission to provide safe, affordable, reliable service to their customers.
- Healthier air: Conway Solar at Happy supports Conway Corp’s further commitment to providing environmentally-sound service to their customers, enabling Conway Corp to abate 162,800 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually1. That’s equivalent to taking 35,400 fuel-burning cars off the road for healthier air.
- Economic Growth: The solar project generated 300 jobs during construction, fostering economic growth within the region.
- Supporting domestic manufacturers: The project uses of 295,000 solar modules from Arizona-based First Solar, smart solar trackers from New Mexico-based Array Technologies, and steel from Attala Steel in Mississippi.
— Solar Builder magazine