Special to the Camden News
The Hampton School District solar array, located near the district's football stadium, is now commissioned and operational.
Dedicated to innovation and sustainability in reducing their carbon footprint, the Hampton School District solar project was designed to offset the energy use of the campus. Projected to supply over 90% percent of the campus' energy consumption, the system can produce over 1,240,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually.
Ouachita Electric Cooperative (OECC) will provide the remaining energy needs of the district.
Hampton School District Superintendent Doug Worley said, "This project exemplifies partnership and investing in our community."
The project, now consisting of over 2,000 solar panels, began when the district reached out to their local utility, OECC, seeking a solution to lower energy bills.
"Our goal at OECC is to help our members receive the lowest cost, most sustainable and most efficient energy available," said Mark Cayce, CEO and general manager of Ouachita Electric Cooperative.
Once OECC conducted an evaluation of the school district's facilities, it was suggested that Hampton schools consider solar energy as a power alternative. In April 2020, the school board began pursuing solar-powered opportunities by creating and distributing a request for proposal (RFP) from qualified solar vendors with the goal of reducing operating expenses.
North Little Rock's Today's Power, Inc. (TPI) was selected as the district's energy partner, and the agreement with TPI is a win-win for the school district, OECC, students and surrounding members. The savings from the purchase power agreement are to be reallocated to services for district, students and local community.
"We are excited to partner with Hampton Schools as they fulfill their mission" said Michael Henderson, president of Today's Power, Inc. "Embracing leading edge technology so all of their students receive benefits of lower cost and contributing to a cleaner environment is sending the right message to the over 600 students they represent."