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UA Fayetteville campus to be powered by solar energy

A portion of the University of Arkansas will run on solar power. Officials say, it could save the university hundreds of thousands in the first year.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — By the year 2023, 6.3% of the University of Arkansas’ Fayetteville campus will be powered by solar energy. During a board of trustees meeting on March 17, the U of A entered a 25-year agreement with Entegrity Energy Partners based in Little Rock.

“It’s a good project,” said Entegrity Energy Regional Director John Coleman. “It’s exciting to see this happen.”

However, the conversion to solar energy won’t take place immediately.

"We could be 14-18 months depending on our interaction with the utilities and how quickly they respond to some of the information that we need,” Coleman said.

Now that the board of trustees approved the agreement, the Public Service Commission will begin the design completion and review process which will take about eight months.

Once complete, they’ll have to build the solar farm, which is planned to be built in Nashville, Arkansas. Coleman says it will take around four months to build the solar farm and about two additional months to get the electricity connected to the U of A through SWEPCO.

Coleman says this will help the university reduce its carbon footprint and use more renewable energy.

“It’s a part of their commitment to renewable, but it’s also saving money,” Coleman said. “I mean, that’s a big driver in this. You’re going to see substantial savings by the UA from going solar. So, that’s really exciting.”

Coleman says it will save the university $208,000 within its first year.

Entegrity says this will be their third project with the U of A systems. Past projects include their Hope Campus and the UA Agricultural Project.

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