Environmental Pocket book – Arkansas On-line

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Recipients of discount locations selected

The Ministry of Energy and the Environment announced on Thursday the first discount recipients of the program for equipping level 2 electric vehicles.

The energy bureau of the department's environmental quality department announced nine discount recipients for the program, which started in February.

The recipients are: Pine Bluff's Arts and Science Center; Little Rock Technology Park; Cities of Lonoke, Eureka Springs, Siloam Springs, Hot Springs; Mississippi County Electrical Cooperative; Promenade hospitality; and Burgundy Hotel, according to a press release.

The program provides discounts for installing level 2 electric vehicle charging stations that can charge electric vehicles in eight hours or less with a 240-volt outlet, the department said. The office launched the program to help grow the state's charging infrastructure and improve its position in the adoption of electric vehicles.

“Arkansas is a natural state for a reason,” Secretary Becky Keogh said in the press release. “We have some of the cleanest air in America. This infrastructure helps us continue this strong tradition of clean air.”

The program uses nearly $ 1 million from Volkswagen's environmental fund to provide discounts to public and private applicants who install the charging stations. The office has raised $ 215,563 each year through 2024. According to the press release, there are still more than $ 100,000 available for the 2021 program year.

Bank OZK starts with solar power plant

Bank OZK broke ground on Thursday morning for a $ 6 million solar power plant in Stuttgart.

When completed, the 4.8-megawatt array will produce enough power to power the bank's new corporate headquarters in Little Rock and up to 40 of the bank's OZK locations in the state, according to a press release from the bank.

The bank says this will be the largest renewable energy investment by a financial services company in Arkansas and the third largest commercial solar in the state for a private customer.

“Bank OZK is an industry innovator and has a bold vision for the future that includes a strong commitment to sustainable and clean energy,” said Tim Hicks, OZK's chief credit and administrative officer. “With this solar power plant, we can reduce our carbon footprint by 160,000 tons over the next 30 years.”

The project plans were approved in March by the Arkansas Public Service Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. approved. Scenic Hill Solar will oversee construction of the 11,000 panel array.


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