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Sebastian County partners with national energy company

Sebastian County is partnering with a national energy company to make more government buildings operate mainly on solar power.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Sebastian County is partnering with a national energy company to make more government buildings operate mainly on solar power.

McKinstry Construction and county officials are working to bring solar power to government buildings including Fort Smith City Hall, the Sebastian County Detention Center, and EMS Services.

"Solar projects are very favorable to do financially," said Judge David Hudson.

McKinstry expects utility bills to be offset by 90% providing huge savings for those who make the switch. 

"If they do it right, there's a big windfall of cash flow in their budget they can free up. The county is roughly going to save 135,000 dollars annually on utility costs," said Skip Woessner from McKinstry Co.

Right now the county is still looking for plots of land to put the solar panels, the energy will also serve Greenwood City Hall. 

"We will build in an area that's not going to be impacted by looks or an area where land value isn't extremely high," said Woessner. 

Sebastian County Judge David Hudson says the investment should pay for itself within a few years and they plan to use those savings on capital expenses. 

"It's best to embrace this technology and use it for future improvement of the county," said Judge Hudson. 

Construction on the panels is expected to begin within the next two months.

Editor's Note: This article previously stated that the City of Fort Smith was partnering with Mckinstry Construction to bring solar power to city buildings. This story has been corrected to state that Sebastian County is working to bring the technology to the area.