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AECC Seeks Arkansas Regulatory Approval of 100-MW Solar Facility in Arkansas

May 18, 2021
Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation said that if approved, the project is anticipated to have an in-service date on, or before, June 10, 2023.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) on May 13 filed with the Arkansas Public Service Commission an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need (CECPN) to build, own, and operate a nominal 100-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) generating facility and related facilities.

AECC requested a commission order by Oct. 20, noting that if the commission approves the proposed Bailey Solar Project, then the project is anticipated to have an in-service date on, or before, June 10, 2023.

The project would be located on 625 acres of land near the Carl E. Bailey Generating Station interconnection point in Woodruff County, Ark. AECC also said that the project would be comprised of PV modules, or panels, mounted on racks that would track the sun during the day from east to west (single-axis tracking) to improve solar production output; the panels would be grouped and connected to sets of power inverters that would be used to convert electricity to alternating current (AC).

Sets of power inverters would be connected to adjacent, pad-mounted transformers and their output would be stepped up to a collection voltage of 34.5-kV. Once collected, AECC added, a 34.5-kV transmission line would carry the project output about one-half mile to the existing switchyard at the Bailey station.

In the switchyard, the electricity would be stepped up to 161 kV by a new 34.5-161-kV transformer within the switchyard fence. AECC also noted that the transformer would then be connected to the switchyard 161-kV buswork, which is a point of interconnection to the state’s electric grid.

The need and intended purpose of the project would be to reuse the existing Bailey Station interconnection point and benefit from the 26% federal tax credit, AECC said. In addition, the project would add to AECC’s solar portfolio while increasing the overall diversity of AECC’s portfolio mix, which would provide a hedge against future state or federal legislation relating to carbon emissions, AECC said.

Among other things, AECC said that according to an environmental impact statement for the project, the project would have minimal effect on the ecology of the land, air, and water environment.

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