Arkansas — Howard County is partnering with McKinstry, a national construction and energy services firm, to deliver energy-saving upgrades and replacements to critical systems at county facilities, including the HVAC system at the county courthouse building. The McKinstry project will save taxpayers more than $51,000 in annual energy costs and more than $23,000 in annual operations costs.
The centerpiece of the energy project is a new 240 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array, which will significantly reduce energy costs and provide the county with a reliable source of power outside of its current reliance on the electrical grid.
The solar array will provide the county with nearly 100 percent of its annual energy consumption. The project is part of an energy performance contract designed by McKinstry to help Howard County improve energy efficiency, upgrade critical equipment approaching the end of its useful life, reduce maintenance costs and avoid catastrophic failure caused by unplanned shutdowns.
“A solar array is something I might never have considered if not recommended by McKinstry,” said Howard County Judge Kevin Smith. “I commend them for finding a way to introduce a renewable energy source that above all else provides real cost savings, which allow the county to pay for critical maintenance and upgrades with zero cost burden for taxpayers. This project will have a profound impact on our county courthouse and several other key county facilities for years to come.”
This project comes on the heels of McKinstry launching a national Renewable Energy Services team to expand its focus on renewables and ensure clients like Howard County receive the market’s most comprehensive energy solutions.
“The near net-zero sizing of this PV array demonstrates that solar energy increasingly makes smart financial sense for a broader range of geographies and project types,” said Michael Grabham, McKinstry’s regional vice president of energy and technical services. “McKinstry is helping Howard County and a wide range of other communities and organizations engineer projects that pay strong financial dividends for years to come while also incorporating sustainable, renewable energy benefits.”
Installation of the Howard County solar PV array and energy retrofits projects are currently underway with an anticipated December 2019 completion date. No county operations are expected to be impacted during construction.