Arkansans generating solar power double, though group remains small

Posted: July 22, 2018 at 1:06 a.m.

Installer Jarren Stinson carries a solar panel across the roof of a home Friday in Centerton in Northwest Arkansas. The embrace of solar power by a growing number of Arkansas homeowners has set off a debate over reimbursements by utility companies.

More Arkansans than ever are generating their own electricity, though the financial benefit of doing so could soon change.

Net metering in Arkansas

More and more Arkansans are generating some of their own electricity, mostly using solar panels, in a process called net metering. It’s still a small group relative to the entire electricity system, but these customers have enough capacity to power hundreds of typical homes.

Utility;Net metering customers at end of 2007;2007 net metering capacity;Customers at end of 2017;2017 capacity

Carroll Electric Cooperative;8;23 kilowatts;213;1,463 kilowatts

Ozarks Electric Cooperative;1;100 kilowatts;158;1,114 kilowatts

Swepco;0;0 kilowatts;77;1,968 kilowatts

Statewide;23;184 kilowatts;988;9,343 kilowatts

Source: Arkansas Public Service Commission

Tanner Mecham (front) and Jarren Stinson install a solar panel Friday at a home in Centerton. Solar-panel companies credit falling prices for panels, ...

Juan Alanis (left) hands water bottles to master electrician Jonathan Pittman and installer Tanner Mecham as they install solar panels in Centerton.

Installers Tanner Mecham (left) and Jarren Stinson install a solar panel Friday at a home in Centerton. Solar-panel installers credit falling prices f...

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