Entegrity employees install solar panels near the new Phillips County Justice Complex in Helena. energy production from the solar panels will offset current electric utility consumption for the Phillips County courthouse, health department and renovated John Deere building, which will house county and city staff.

— Photo courtesy of Entegrity

Phillips County ready to ‘go solar’ with new $1 million project

Story by Wesley Brown Talk Business & Politics

power all of its local operations. According to details of the first-of-its-kind arrangement in


the Delta, Phillips County officials have entered into a $1 mil- lion contract with Little Rock-based Entegrity Partners to in- stall an initial 400kW (kilowatts) of solar photovoltaic array, with the capacity to add another 600kw of solar power in the future. Te solar installation is expected to generate a total of 593,000 kWh of clean energy annually, enough to power 48 Arkansas homes for a year. Rick Vance, regional director for Little Rock-based Entegri-

ty Partners, told Talk Business & Politics that the project will be 100 percent funded by the utility cost savings and will provide the Delta county a positive cashflow investment that offsets ongoing power costs. “Te big factor, the thing that is putting this all together, is the cost,” said Vance. “Te costs to manufacture these panels and other components with solar have come way down. And then the costs to install it … has also come down.” Before discussions on the project began near the end of


rmed with the new Solar Access Act enacted into law during the 92nd General Assembly, Phillips County is racing to become the first county in the Natural State to install a solar energy system to

2018, Vance said Entegrity officials were already working with the city of Helena-West Helena on another energy efficiency project when they were contacted by Phillips County Judge Clark Hall. He said Hall wanted the “bling effect,” or some- thing to catch the attention of the rest of the state. “He said he was tired of people in Pulaski County tell-

ing us over here (in the Delta) that we’re doing things back- wards,” said Vance. “He knew there were savings, he knew there was a cost-effective approach to it, but he also wanted to make a statement.” Once those conversations began, Vance said Entegrity did a full assessment and audit of the county’s facilities, utility bills and energy needs. Te fast-growing energy services firm, which also has a Northwest Arkansas location in Fayetteville and regional offices in Alabama, Kansas, Missouri, Mississip- pi and Tennessee, then put together a turnkey solution that included installing a solar package that will meet the energy needs of the county today and later. “Tey said we may need more in the future, so this system is installed with the capacity to do more,” said Vance. “So, if down the road, they want to increase production, it will be very, very easy for them to do some the way they are doing things now.”

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