Local Bank OZK branches to get solar energy

A bank in Arkansas with branches in the Twin Lakes Area has announced plans to use solar-generated electricity as early as this year. Bank OZK is investing in the construction of a solar power plant to provide renewable energy to power its banking offices in Mountain Home, Yellville, Marshall, Bellefonte, Harrison and Western Grove. All together, the plant will provide energy for up to 40 Arkansas locations and the corporate headquarters in Little Rock.

Bank officials say the plant is expected to be located in the central part of the state, and it will be the third-largest commercial solar facility dedicated to a private sector customer in Arkansas with the generating capacity of 4.8 megawatts DC of electricity. Bank OZK’s carbon footprint is expected to shrink by an estimated 160,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years, which is the equivalent to eliminating over 390 million passenger car miles or planting four million tree seedlings. Over the course of a year, the facility is expected to generate over 8.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is enough to provide electricity for over 1,000 homes for a 12-month period.

Bank OZK Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Director of Investment Relations Tim Hicks says the bank’s investment of over $6 million represents the largest investment in renewable energy by an Arkansas-based financial services company to date. Scenic Hill Solar, LLC, of North Little Rock will develop and oversee the construction project with 12,000 solar panels on a single-axis tracking system.

Design work will be finalized, and construction of the plant will begin in 2020 pending approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission. The facility should begin generating electricity approximately six months after all government approvals have been received.

Other Bank OZK offices expected to receive solar-generated electricity are located in Arkadelphia, Bryant, Cabot, Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, Little Rock, Lonoke, Magnolia, Malvern, Maumelle and Russellville.

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