Sebastian County and McKinstry Extend Partnership by Evaluating Solar PV Potential

Solar assessment to identify budget-neutral opportunities to expand utility and operating cost savings already delivered through McKinstry energy projects

FORT SMITH, Ark. (Oct. 1, 2019) — Sebastian County approved a McKinstry solar energy assessment and project development plan to identify opportunities to further cut utility costs by installing photovoltaic (PV) arrays across the Arkansas county. The assessment extends Sebastian County’s previous partnership with McKinstry that originated with a performance contract to enhance county building operations.

Sebastian County enhanced multiple county facilities through LED lighting retrofits, building management system optimization, HVAC renovations and boiler replacements. Completed in September 2018, the county will pay for the $5.1 million project through the guaranteed $344,000 annual energy, maintenance and repair cost savings generated by the equipment upgrades. Any feasible solar energy projects identified by the new McKinstry study will extend these cost savings.

“McKinstry allows Sebastian County to make the very most of our building assets and energy resources,” said Sebastian County Judge David Hudson. “These budget-neutral projects improve county facilities and our ability to serve residents across the county without impacting capital or operating budgets.”

The Sebastian County solar assessment was made possible by reduced PV technology costs along with new Arkansas legislation that makes solar energy projects more favorable across the state. If the McKinstry assessment identifies feasible opportunities, Sebastian County will vote on whether to move forward with the PV installations, which would be funded by a loan repaid by utility cost savings generated by the solar energy.

“McKinstry delivers comprehensive energy solutions to our clients that focus on cutting energy consumption first, followed by strategic renewable energy projects,” said Michael Grabham, Vice President of McKinstry’s South Region. “Solar PV and other renewable energy projects make real financial sense in Arkansas, allowing us to look for new opportunities to cut utility and operating costs by deploying a broad spectrum of technologies.

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