Wednesday, April 12, 2023 – The Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority (LRWRA) has turned to an unlikely source to generate savings — the sun. On April 12th, utility officials “flipped the switch” for its new solar array, which will save LRWRA $100,000 in energy costs annually.
This addition to LRWRA’s operations comes amid a 20-year capital improvement plan to increase wastewater treatment capacity, update antiquated portions of the piping system, and provide service to areas not connected to the system. Currently, the LRWRA has 1,400 miles of public sewer pipes in its footprint, providing sewer services to 71,000 homes and businesses. The utility is responsible for all wastewater collection and treatment and is entrusted with returning reclaimed water to the Arkansas River. LRWRA ensures all water undergoes a thorough cleaning process before being released into the Arkansas River. Thanks to this process, LRWRA returns water seven times cleaner than the river.
LRWRA saw an opportunity to utilize green energy and save money using solar energy. “The new solar array allows us to pursue carbon reduction while reducing our costs and allocate those funds for improving the system infrastructure, making this investment a wise use of resources. The addition of this solar array to the utility’s bio-gas generation system means over 40 percent of LRWRA’s energy needs come from renewable sources,” stated Greg Ramon, CEO at LRWRA.
In addition to cost savings, the 3,840-module array will produce enough kWh savings to offset EPA emissions comparable to those produced by 254 homes’ annual energy use or burning 2,234,665 pounds of coal.
Entegrity Energy Partners, headquartered in Little Rock, is overseeing the installation and operation of the solar array. The company specializes in sustainable energy solutions that bring down operating costs for both private and public entities. Entegrity’s
“Entegrity is honored to help LRWRA realize energy savings. This is a great way for public entities to be able to invest in infrastructure and other upgrades,” said Parker Higgs, Arkansas Director for Entegrity.