Southwest Arkansas Electric

Southwest Arkansas Electric has added a solar power station for use on its grid during peak hours.

Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative has unveiled the completed C. Wayne Whitaker Solar Power Generation Facility off Interstate 49 in TexARKana.

The facility can provide approximately 2,250,000 kWh annually, and was designed to lower the cooperative’s peak demand.

Dedicated to SWACE President and CEO Wayne Whitaker, who is retiring this year, the 1.4 MW DC single-axis tracking system has been built, installed, and is owned and operated by Today's Power, Inc. (TPI) through a 20-year arrangement.

“It is an honor to be part of this flip the switch ceremony and especially the dedication of this solar facility to Wayne Whitaker. I have had the opportunity to work with Wayne for 34 years and I hold him in the highest regard as an industry leader. He has always made well thought-out decisions that are in the best interest of the members. This solar system is a great representative of Wayne by being productive, leading edge, reliable and has great endurance,” said Michael Henderson, president of TPI.

The array of solar panels occupies approximately seven acres of land owned by SWAEC. It includes nearly 3,800 individual solar panels, and will have a viable life-span of over 25 years.

“Our partnership with Today's Power allows us to add 1 MW of renewable generation to our portfolio and improve the quality of life for our members. Our mission at Southwest Arkansas Electric is to provide first-class electric service to the community that is safe, reliable and affordable,” said Whitaker.

The solar power plant that offers local generation for SWAEC members is now in full operation. The distribution cooperative serves 28,000 member accounts throughout the counties of Columbia, Hempstead, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Polk and Sevier counties in Arkansas, McCurtain County, OK and Bowie County, TX.

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