Arkansas Energy

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A group of 10 students from LISA Academy North charter school in North Little Rock are preparing for a journey of almost 1,500 miles in the solar powered car they built by hand.

The group will travel with schools across the country from Fort Worth, Texas to Palmdale, Calif. in July as part of the Solar Car Challenge. LISA North is the first school in Arkansas to compete in the nationwide event.

Loreal
clintonfoundation.org

The latest installment of a United States Department of Energy web series features energy management teams from North Little Rock’s L’Oreal plant trading places with the team from Detroit’s General Motors facility.

The series, titled “SWAP," is a reality-style web series based on popular shows such as ABC’s “Wife Swap.” The Department of Energy oversaw the exchange, which details the two teams examining each other’s facilities to find ways to boost energy efficiency.

Southwestern Electric Power Company on Tuesday fired back at a group opposing the $4.5 billion “Wind Catcher” project designed to deliver wind-powered energy to Arkansas.

Clean Line
Arkansas Business

Arkansas's congressional delegation has asked U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to block plans for a power line across the state, arguing that recent setbacks make it unlikely for the project to continue.

Delegation members sent a letter to Perry on Tuesday urging the Energy Department to either "pause or terminate" the $2.5 billion Clean Line Energy project. The project is expected to bring several hundred miles of wind power lines through Arkansas, which landowners say would lower property values.

Scenic Hill Solar CEO Bill Halter.
Bobby Ampezzan / Arkansas Public Media

While the energy sector is bracing for higher prices under the impact of President Trump’s 30-percent tariff on solar goods manufactured outside the U.S. the city of Clarksville is ready to turn on Arkansas’s largest municipal solar array. The $10 million project was constructed by Arkansas-based Scenic Hill Solar. It’ll ceremonially open on Wednesday six months ahead of schedule.

CEO Bill Halter says it was made mostly with imported parts out of necessity. He expects future arrays to be more costly with the imposition of tariffs.

Arkansas Public Service Commissioner Kim O'Guinn was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in Nov. 2016.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Governor Asa Hutchinson is calling on the state’s Public Service Commission and utility companies to “take the necessary steps to pass on the benefits” of Congress’s new corporate tax cut to Arkansas ratepayers. The Republican governor detailed his request to PSC Chairman Ted Thomas in a letter Thursday.

Assistant Pro Tempore 1st District Senator Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

President Donald Trump has appointed an Arkansas state Senator as the federal representative on the Southern States Energy Board. Eddie Joe Williams says he’ll be sworn into the new post in 30 to 45 days, and in the meantime he’ll resign as state Senator.

He’s held an elected office of kind or another in the Cabot area since the early 2000’s. He was elected to the Senate in 2010. A special election will have to be called to fill out the remainder of his term.

Arkansas Nuclear One Entergy power plant
Wikipedia

Arkansas leaders are responding to the expected announcement Tuesday from the head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency to roll back Obama-era regulations.

The Clean Power Plan was intended to significantly curb pollution by regulating the carbon emissions from different types of power plants. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was part of a 29-state coalition challenging the legality of the plan. In February 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to stay compliance with the regulations while it waited to judge legal merits of the plan.

For interested onlookers like Arkansas Energy Office program manager Chet Howland, the filing today by the Net Metering Working Group is a not-unexpected, slight disappointment.

The group is the creation of the Public Service Commission (at the request of the General Assembly) to examine net metering: the practice of pushing the electricity generated by windmills or solar power systems back onto the grid, and getting credit for it from energy utilities.

An electric utility that serves about 113,000 customers in western Arkansas says it plans to buy a significant portion of the nation's largest wind farm, currently being built in the Oklahoma panhandle and scheduled for completion in 2020.

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