Category: Success Stories
Ouachita Electric Cooperative of Camden to add Today’s Power, Inc. solar array
Member-owned cooperative responds to desires of membership
Little Rock, Ark. — Aug. 13, 2015 — Ouachita Electric Cooperative of Camden, Arkansas has entered into a Service Agreement for a 100 kilowatt AC solar array from Today’s Power Inc. (TPI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI).
“As a member-owned electric cooperative we strive to respond to the desires of our members when it is economically feasible and cost-effective for the membership as a whole,” said Mark Cayce, CEO of Ouachita Electric, which has more than 7,040 members and 9,419 meters. “TPI presented our team with a very efficient solar energy package that met our needs and we are excited to continue to explore the possibilities of methods to ultimately keep the rates for our members as reasonable as possible.”
According to Michael Henderson, president of TPI, Ouachita Electric Cooperative is one of many electric cooperatives that are launching TPI-based solar programs across the country. TPI offers electric cooperatives an opportunity to realize savings that previously was available only to taxable companies.
Cayce said, “The low after tax installed cost of the system ($1.46/AC watt) combined with the safety of the low voltage design really sold us on the product. We also take confidence in the fact that TPI’s use of utility construction crews to install their system instead of low-skilled general laborers ensures quality installation.”
“We continue to experience great interest in our product offering due to the strength of the package, which offers maximum energy density, twenty percent more energy than other fixed tilt solar systems and requires approximately 40 percent less space than traditional systems,” Henderson said. “TPI provides a renewable energy solution that involves relatively low capital investment and can ultimately lower the power cost for electric cooperative members. We remain focused on keeping electricity prices low in order to improve the quality of life."
The Ouachita Electric solar project is a ten K Solar (TKS) REFLECT XT-26 photovoltaic system that will involve approximately 312, 410 watt solar panels and will be installed adjacent the cooperative’s office building. The “behind the meter” installation will produce enough energy to support the requirements of Ouachita’s headquarters.
Today’s Power, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based utility service cooperative owned by 17 Arkansas electric distribution cooperatives. AECI provides pole line hardware sales, vendor managed inventory services, utility construction services, vegetation management services, high voltage testing and safety services, management and education. TPI is an authorized distributor and installer for TKS photovoltaic systems.
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