CLARKSVILLE (KFSM) -- Arkansas' largest utility solar power plant officially went online in Clarksville Wednesday (Jan. 24).
A field off Interstate 40 in Clarksville is now home to 20,000 solar panels.
Clarksville Light and Water Co. contracted with Scenic Hill Solar to build the solar power plant. According to those working on the project, it was completed 6 months ahead of schedule and more than $100,000 was donated to local charities from solar power project participants.
"What this means for the citizens of Clarksville is, we have additional renewable energy that we are delivering to the community," said John Lester with Clarksville Light and Water Co.
In 8 years, Clarksville can buy the power plant if they choose, but for now it is owned by Scenic Hill Solar.
"Over the next thirty years, environmentally will be the equivalent of removing over 500 million passenger car miles from the highway. It's the equivalent of removing over 210 million pounds of coal from generation," said Bill Halter with Scenic Hill Solar.
The solar power plant is expected to generate over 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity and save Clarksville customers money.
"I can say that we are saving our customers about a half million dollars a year. Now, against a fifty million dollar power bill they are not going to see a huge reduction but it is still moving in the right direction with the right resource," Lester said.