Arkansas Energy

Entergy power line
Entergy Arkansas

Entergy Arkansas is proposing a rate increase for its customers to help pay $135 million in reimbursements to customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. According to a 2018 ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Entergy Arkansas violated an agreement it had with affiliates in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana by misreporting sales of energy to non-network entities from 2000 to 2009.

Solar Array
Arkansas Business

A new Arkansas law taking effect is allowing local governments, agencies and schools to partner with third-party companies to building solar projects. Arkansas Business reporter Kyle Massey writes in this week’s issue about what’s coming together to make this possible.

Rick Vance is regional director for Entegrity Energy Partners LLC of Little Rock, one of several Arkansas solar providers riding the wave as local governments, agencies and schools plunge into a new solar mainstream.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is asking for an investigation into a settlement that would result in the shutting down of the state's two largest coal-fired power plants.

In a statement, Rutledge said she would like the Arkansas Public Service Commission to review the pending settlement agreement between the Sierra Club, the National Parks Conservation Association, and Entergy Arkansas, which co-owns the two plants.

White Bluff Coal Plant
Wil Chandler / Arkansas Business

Entergy Arkansas has agreed to replace two of the state’s largest coal-fired power plants with cleaner energy facilities.

As part of a settlement with the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association, the White Bluff plant in Jefferson County will halt operations by 2028 and the Independence plant in Independence County by be shut down by 2030.

Both lack modern emissions controls and, a lawsuit alleged, violate the federal Clean Air Act.

Daniel Breen / Arkansas Public Media

Confronted with mounting debt and falling prices, the company that first developed one of the country's ten largest fields of natural gas is selling off its assets.

The Houston-area Southwestern Energy first began activity in the Fayetteville Shale play, a 50-to-500 foot thick sediment layer about a mile underground located across a wide swath of northern Arkansas, in 2002.

But, though estimates say gas reserves within the Fayetteville Shale can last until 2050, all drilling has stopped since 2016. Now, Southwestern Energy is selling its assets in the region to Oklahoma City-based Flywheel Energy for nearly $2.4 billion.

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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