Solar energy company Lightsource bp has closed on a $533 million multi-project financing package and will soon mobilize construction on its 135 megawatt (dc) Conway Solar project located near Happy, Arkansas, approximately 55 miles northeast of Little Rock. Lightsource bp will build, own and operate the White County facility and deliver the clean, renewable energy it generates to Conway Corp under a long-term power purchase agreement for their customers in the City of Conway.
The solar farm will generate enough electricity to power more than 21,400 homes, and will also play a role in reducing the city’s carbon footprint. Construction of the Conway Solar farm at Happy will create approximately 200 construction jobs, to be filled mainly by local workers, and abate about 162,800 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually for the city of Conway, equivalent to annual emissions from about 35,400 fuel burning cars.
“Our mission is to provide safe, affordable, reliable, innovative and environmentally sound service to our customers,” said Conway Corp CEO Bret Carroll. “This solar project checks all those boxes. It is a project that will have lasting impact on our community. We look forward to working with Lightsource bp to get the project under construction and delivering service to our customers.”
Conway Solar at Happy will include more than 300,000 solar panels installed on approximately 700 acres of land. It will feature bifacial solar photovoltaic (PV) modules on single axis trackers, which will have the unique ability to capture sunlight on both faces of the panel.
The solar farm project is part of a 480 megawatt, $533 million portfolio financing package for multiple solar projects. In the last two years, the Lightsource bp team has raised over $2.3 billion in financing for its projects in ten states across the US.
Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas, Lightsource bp said, “Beyond improving the health and energy security of communities across America, large-scale solar projects help strengthen local economies. As the owner and operator of the Conway solar farm at Happy, we look forward to bringing economic benefits to the region, along with fostering long-term community partnerships.”
Construction on the solar farm project will start in March 2022, with full commercial operation expected in mid 2023. Gibson Technical Services (GTS), a Subsidiary of Orbital Energy Group, has been selected by Lightsource bp as the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor for the PV solar plant.
Lightsource bp is a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, and a 50:50 joint venture with bp. Lightsource bp in the U.S. is headquartered in San Francisco with development offices in Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Austin.