Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers met last week with Bill Halter, president of Scenic Hill Solar of North Little Rock about using solar power to supply part of the city’s electricity.
“He said he felt like Paris could benefit from using solar power,” Rogers said. “He recommended building a two megawatt facility that would generate around 3.4 million kilowatts annually. That’s roughly 7 percent of our load.”
Rogers contacted Halter after his company announced an agreement with Clarksville Light and Water Company in the summer to build the state’s largest solar power plant producing electricity for a municipal utility.
Rogers said Halter suggested a contract under which Paris would enter into a 30-year agreement with Scenic Hill Solar. Paris could purchase the plant in seven years.
“I’m going to do more research to see if it’s a good fit for Paris,” Rogers said. “If it is, I’m going to ask them to come down and make a presentation. We also have to take a look at our existing contract with the Oklahoma Municipal Power Association to see if there is anything that prevents us from doing this.”
Like Clarksville, Paris presently buys electricity from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Association. The city’s contract with OMPA will expire in 2021 and can be allowed to lapse or be renewed.
“Being able to supply energy to our customers at a very reasonable price is something I have to look at as mayor,” Rogers said.
“It’s possible a solar plant will be a good fit for Paris,” Rogers said. “I believe something like this would be good for economic development in Paris, too. Clarksville got a lot of publicity after the plant was announced. I also think companies are going to be looking toward forward leaning communities.”