HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The City of Hot Springs is going solar. In a partnership with Scenic Hill Solar, they are building the biggest municipal solar plant in the state.
City of Hot Springs City Manager Bill Burrough said the city already had a green initiative but wanted to take that even further.
“All of our city’s electric consumption will be offset to renewable energy,” Burrough said.
More than 31,000 solar panels will be installed on city owned property and phase one is already complete. Soon all city buildings and functions will be powered by the sun
“We should be up around 12.5 megawatt DC,” Burrough said.
That means the project will produce enough electricity to power 63,000 homes for an entire year.
“Over the course of a 28-year agreement we expect to save anywhere between $28,000,000-$30,000,000,” Burrough said.
Along with saving cash, the project will reduce the carbon footprint by more than 372,000 tons. That is like driving 924,000,000 miles less or eliminating the burning of about 410lbs of coal.
“When you can trade all of your current energy over to renewable energy you’re really helping the environment and that’s something that’s very important to our city,” Burrough said.
City leaders believe it’s just the next step in protecting what Arkansas is known for.
“It’s the natural state and we certainly take that to heart,” Burrough said.
Burrough said the city will host a ribbon-cutting for phase one in the next couple of weeks. Those panels are already supplying power to city buildings.