Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) on May 13th filed Filed an application with the Arkansas Public Service Commission for an Environmental Impact and Public Needs Certificate (CECPN) to build, own, and operate a nominal 100 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) system and associated equipment.

AECC requested a commission order by October 20 and determined that the project is expected to be operational on or before June 10, 2023 if the commission approves the proposed Bailey Solar project.

The project would be located on 625 acres near the junction of the Carl E. Bailey Power Plant in Woodruff County, Ark. AECC also said the project would consist of PV modules or panels mounted on racks that would follow the sun from east to west (uniaxial tracking) during the day to improve solar production; The panels would be grouped and connected to inverter kits that would be used to convert electricity to alternating current (AC).

Sets of inverters would be connected to adjacent pad-mounted transformers and their output would be boosted to a collection voltage of 34.5 kV. Once captured, AECC added, a 34.5 kV transmission line would carry project power approximately half a mile to the existing switchgear at Bailey Station.

In the switchgear, the current would be increased to 161 kV by a new 34.5-161 kV transformer inside the switchgear fence. AECC also determined that the transformer would then be connected to the switchgear’s 161 kV bus network, which is a connection point to the state’s electricity network.

The project’s need and intended purpose would be to reuse the existing Bailey Station junction and benefit from the 26% federal tax credit, AECC said. In addition, the project would expand AECC’s solar portfolio while increasing the overall diversity of AECC’s portfolio mix, which would provide a hedge against future state or federal laws regarding carbon emissions, AECC said.

Among other things, AECC said the project would have minimal impact on the ecology of the land, air and water environment, according to an environmental impact statement for the project.