Producers Rice, solar firm ink deal to build solar project

producers rice mill logoMore than 18 months in the works, Producers Rice Mill and Scenic Hill Solar finally received approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission to build a 26-megawatt DC solar power plant combined with up to 40 megawatt-hours of energy storage capacity.

When completed, it will be the largest commercial solar plant and battery storage system in the state.

The project will be built on 160 acres of land at Producers Rice Mill in Stuttgart, Arkansas. It will involve more than 65,000 solar panels and is expected to provide about two-thirds of the electricity consumed by the Stuttgart rice mill, according to a news release. The project will generate about 44.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity during its first year of operation or the equivalent of what is consumed by about 151,000 homes annually.

The $55 million project is expected to save the rice co-op more than $100 million in electricity costs over the next 30 years. If all goes according to plans, it is expected to be operational in late 2021 or early 2022.

Based in North Little Rock, Scenic Hill Solar recently completed a 1.5 megawatt solar project for the Stuttgart School District and a 3.15 megawatt project for the city of Stuttgart.