Entergy Arkansas’ 250MW solar project gets approval, Lightsource bp to build

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Lightsource bp has completed development and permitting of the solar project. Image: Lightsource BP.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission has approved Entergy Arkansas’ 250MW Driver Solar Project located near Osceola in Mississippi County.

The Driver Solar project was developed by Lightsource bp and will be the utility’s largest solar facility and the largest solar facility in Arkansas, Entergy said.

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Lightsource bp has completed development and permitting of the solar project and will build the facility under a build-transfer agreement with Entergy Arkansas. Driver Solar has an expected completion date in late 2024.

Located just south of the city of Osceola in Arkansas, the plant will be situated adjacent to both US Steel’s Big River Steel facility and its recently announced US$3 billion expansion. Entergy Arkansas suggested it would provide renewable power to those sites.

“We are privileged to be able to work closely with US Steel Corporation to develop sustainable solutions to help them meet their objective of producing steel using renewable electricity while simultaneously lowering rates over the long term for all 728,000-plus Entergy Arkansas customers,” said Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas.

“Driver Solar not only helps us meet our robust sustainability goals, but it will also help us deliver sustainable steel solutions for our customers,” said US Steel Senior VP and chief strategy and sustainability officer, Richard Fruehauf.

“The renewable energy generated will power the production of verdeXTM, our advanced sustainable steel product, which is composed of up to 90% recycled steel content, as well as other products produced at our Big River Works facility.”

The Driver Solar project will use thin-film modules manufactured by First Solar and trackers manufactured by Albuquerque-based Array Technologies.

In July, Entergy Arkansas issued a request for proposals (RfP) for 1GW of solar and wind resources to be obtained through a combination of one or more build-own-transfer agreements, self-build alternatives or power purchase agreements (PPA) that would be in operation between May 2025 and December 2026.

And, in June 2022, Entergy Corporation discussed plans for up to 7GW of renewable resources by the end of 2025 and as much as 14GW to 17GW of renewable resources by the end of 2031.

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