Arkansas Energy

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking at a ribbon cutting for MISO in March 2015 before the facility was fully online.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A $22 million electric grid control center operated by Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO) officially turned the switch at midnight Monday to become the company’s hub for delivering electricity to Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

Todd Hillman, the vice president of MISO’s southern operations said transferring control from its Indiana headquarters to Little Rock signals a growing energy demand in the region.

Former President Clinton: Energy, Broadband Would Help Delta

May 28, 2015
Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday that alternative and more efficient energy, New Markets Tax Credit loans, and more broadband access would help areas along the Mississippi Delta enjoy more economic growth.

Clinton addressed by telephone the Delta Grassroots Caucus, a seven-state coalition of advocates and legislators meeting this week in Little Rock.

Entergy Corp. estimates its electrical customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas saved more than $250 million during the first year of Entergy's membership in a regional grid manager.

Customer savings are building more quickly than Entergy estimated before joining the Indiana-based Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator in late 2013. Entergy had estimated $1.4 billion in customer savings over a decade.

Arkansas Nuclear One

Entergy's nuclear power plant, Arkansas Nuclear One, is currently the worst in the country, according to a ranking by the federal regulators. The reasons for the poor performance rating and plans for improvement will be discussed Tuesday night at 6 p.m.  during a public hearing in Russellville.

CenterPoint Customers In Arkansas Should See Lower Gas Bills Until Late 2015

May 7, 2015

A CenterPoint Energy spokeswoman said Wednesday that Arkansas customers should already begin seeing lower monthly bills due to a decreasing gas supply rate (GSR) adjustment that comes from falling wellhead prices tied to the cost of natural gas.

The adjustment will lower an April residential gas bill using 50 Ccf (hundred cubic feet) of natural gas by more than 14% compared to last year. This means a bill that was $65.48 last April is $55.92 this month, Centerpoint officials said, although actual bills will vary depending on how much natural gas individual customers use.

First Solar To Power East Camden Renewable Energy Project, Officials Say

May 5, 2015

Nashville-based renewable energy provider Silicon Ranch Corp. said today that it has selected publicly traded First Solar in Tempe, Ariz., to provide power for a 12-megawatt (MW) solar energy project planned for the Highland Industrial Park in East Camden.

In February, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. and East Camden defense contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne first announced the deal to build and manage what will officials said would be the largest solar field in Arkansas.

U.S. Senator John Boozman, R-Ark., and Congressman French Hill, R-Little Rock, sent a letter to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs urging an evaluation of the planning process for renewable energy programs.

Chris Hickey / KUAR

The Environmental Protection Agency is extending its public comment period on proposed rules to limit emissions for several coal-fired power plants in Arkansas. The regulations are intended limit haze around national wilderness areas.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking at a ribbon cutting for MISO in March 2015 before the facility was fully online.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

West Little Rock is now the home of a $22 million electric-grid operations center for parts of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The new building for Midcontinent Independent System Operator – or MISO – is linked to others as far north as Manitoba.

MISO President John Bear told nearly 200 onlookers that the city met the company’s needs.

Calhoun County has advanced to the semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize. The national competition is challenging communities across the U.S. to rethink their energy use.

Calhoun County was recognized at a press event in Washington, D.C., Thursday as one of the communities that is leading the way on energy efficiency.