Lightsource BP presses on with US solar push with Arkansas array

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One of Lightsource BP's utility-scale solar plants in the UK, where it has developed a sizeable share of the market. Image: Lightsource BP.

Lightsource BP has continued its US solar market drive, striking an agreement to proceed with a 132MWdc solar array in Arkansas.

The solar developer is to finance, build, own and operate the facility near the town of Happy in White County, the power from which is to be sold to city utility Conway Corp.

Conway Corp, which operates the city of Conway’s utility systems, has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Lightsource BP, procuring its generation to help decarbonise its operations.

Lightsource BP said the project is slated for energisation before the end of 2022, and its construction is expected to create 250 local jobs.

Kevin Smith, Americas CEO at Lightsource BP, said solar stood to be an “important part” of the state of Arkansas’ future energy mix. Indeed, the announcement comes a few months after NextEra Energy and Entergy broke ground on the Chicot Solar Energy Center which, at 100MW, will be Arkansas’ largest utility-scale solar project once complete.

Lightsource BP – where O&G major BP owns a 50% stake – is riding the crest of a wave in the US, having spent the last year lining up a significant pipeline of projects including those in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Alabama, amongst others.

Speaking to PV Tech in December of last year, Lightsource BP chief executive Nick Boyle said that of the developer’s 12GW-plus global pipeline, more than 5.3GW is in the US, underscoring the market’s importance to the company moving forward.  

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