Lightsource BP Renewable Energy Investments Ltd. will finance, build, own and operate a 132-MW solar array near Happy, Ark., and sell the output to Conway Corp., which operates the electric system for the city of Conway, Ark.
Located roughly 55 miles northeast of Little Rock, in White County, Ark., the Conway Solar project is scheduled to go online by the end of 2022, the companies announced April 3. It is larger than any other solar project in Arkansas operating or planned, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.
The largest currently operating solar project in the state is NextEra Energy Inc.'s 81-MW Stuttgart Solar Energy Center. Several previously planned 100-MW projects, including two from NextEra, are the next-largest projects under construction or in the advanced stages of development.
The Conway Corp. Board of Directors approved the fixed-price 20-year power purchase agreement April 3. The companies did not disclose contract pricing but said the fixed price was "low cost."
"We are committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable and innovative and environmentally sound service to our customers. This solar project checks all of those boxes," Conway Corp. CEO Bret Carroll said in statement. "We know this project is a great long-range strategy in our continued efforts to serve our customers with excellence."
Conway Corp. also offers water, sewer, telecommunications and internet service.
"We believe renewable and affordable solar energy is an important part of the state's future energy mix, and we're dedicated to making it a positive contribution to local communities," added Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas for Lightsource BP, an affiliate of oil major BP PLC.
The project will create 250 jobs during its construction and generate enough electricity to power more than 21,400 homes, the companies said.