Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation (OECC) will announce the full commissioning of the 100-acre East Camden, Arkansas solar field on March 31, 2016.
The 12‑megawatt (AC) array is located in the Highland Industrial Park and is owned and operated by Silicon Ranch Corp which constructed the solar field. Aerojet Rocketdyne will purchase the solar power for its 1,200‑acre East Camden facility. The solar plant was completed in late 2015 and is capable of generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 2,400 single family homes. Excess solar energy will be released to AECC and dispatched to the wholesale power market.
“We are proud to report the testing period that began at the end of November has produced zero power anomalies, and with the unusually sunny Arkansas winter, we have been witness to the exciting potential solar has in Arkansas,” said Gary Vaughan, Aerojet Rocketdyne director of Production Operations, Camden. “Silicon Ranch and their construction partner, McCarthy Building Companies, produced a world-class solar facility that will benefit the company and the region today, and in the future.”
“This innovative partnership benefits electric cooperative members by providing predictable energy cost and contributing to the strong economic growth in the Camden area,” said Duane Highley, president and CEO of AECC, a generation and transmission electric cooperative. “Arkansas Electric Cooperative is constantly evaluating sources to ensure that our 17 retail distribution cooperatives and their more than 1.2 million members have reliable electricity that is affordable.”
OECC, which serves Highland Industrial Park, assisted in the project by providing technical support, guidance and expertise in power production and delivery.
“Ouachita Electric Cooperative works to increase the quality of life for our members and their communities,” said Mark Cayce, general manager of OECC. “Our board of directors and employees are diligent in our efforts to be advocates for rural Arkansas by keeping electricity rates affordable and assisting with economic growth.”
According to Matt Kisber, President and CEO of Silicon Ranch, construction of the Highland Park project was a seamless process, due in large part to the participation and support of OECC and AECC.
“We could not ask for a better partnership to bring the first large-scale solar energy facility to Arkansas,” Kisber said. “Silicon Ranch echoes the importance of bringing renewable generation to rural America. This project should assist in additional positive economic impact for the Camden area while providing a reliable, low-cost energy source for Aerojet Rocketdyne and Arkansas Electric Cooperative.”