Pulaski County Expands Green Initiatives to Maximize Savings and Conserve Energy

Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde announced two environmental initiatives designed to improve the quality of life in Pulaski County, by protecting public safety and reducing energy costs. The two initiatives are a Pulaski County road and bridge test project using tire rubber-modified asphalt on 1.2 miles of Lawson Road in west Pulaski County, and a 20-year agreement with Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) to develop and install an array of solar panels located at the Little Rock Port Industrial Park and Pulaski County Justice Complex to generate cost-saving electricity for the county for 20 years.

Tire Rubber-Modified Asphalt

Tire rubber-modified asphalt products are produced by Wright Asphalt Products of Houston, Texas. The tire-rubber-modified asphalt test will determine the use of recycled tires as a component of asphalt paving and maintaining. The contractor for the test project is Cranford Construction of Little Rock. The Lawson Road test project was completed in September and will be evaluated each year to compare wear-and-tear in comparison to traditional asphalt.

“Pulaski County is undertaking this test project as an environmentally responsible way to keep our roads safe and smooth,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “Waste tires are a major environmental concern. Anything we can do to lessen this concern while providing a new market for recycled tires, while at the same time effectively maintain our county roads and bridges, is common sense. And, it’s the right thing to do.”

“Wright Asphalt and Delek Asphalt was pleased to provide the product used in Pulaski County’s test project, Southeast Regional Sales Manager Dan Quire said. “We provided Pulaski County with a performance-based tire rubber modified asphalt binder that not only helps improve the longevity of the road, but also is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted used car tires. We look forward to working with the county on future projects.”

Solar-Generated Electricity

Pulaski County has selected Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) to provide approximately 8 megawatts (MW) of solar-produced power for county use. The TPI sun-tracking solar array will occupy approximately 40 acres at the Little Rock Port Authority Industrial Park and 12 acres at the Pulaski County Justice Complex. TPI will finance, operate and own 100 percent of the solar array. The county will purchase electricity generated by the array at 4.9 cents per kilowatt hour for the duration of the 20-year agreement.

The project is expected to generate between 80 and 100 percent of the county’s current electric demand. The expected savings to the county is approximately $150,000 in the first year.

“We here in the South know full well the power of the sun,” Hyde said. “When used to generate electricity, solar power is the most reliable, renewable, and affordable energy source there is. And, using an array of solar panels will not only reduce the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity, it will save money.”

The solar project is made possible through Act 464 of 2019, passed by the Arkansas General Assembly, which allows governmental entities to net-meter renewable energy purchased from a private producer. This arrangement reduces costs, in part by preserving federal tax incentives available for investments in power-producing solar facilities.

“We are so honored to partner with Pulaski County and the Little Rock Port Authority to add clean renewable solar energy to power their operations,” TPI President Michael Henderson said. “This project reflects the great vision and a true desire to modernize the image of Pulaski County and the Little Rock Port Authority by taking a giant step in sustainability.”  “We hope this renewable resource provides economic stimulus that will provide long-term benefit to Pulaski County and central Arkansas for many years to come.”

About Wright Asphalt

Called the TRMAC™ system, tire rubber-modified asphalt is manufactured within Wright’s terminal facility environment, which provides the ability to control the quality of the entire process and certify the product. Wright’s laboratory facilities provide the structure to continually test, quality control and certify the product, which assures excellent consistency in processing and in the final application of the products manufactured.

Tire rubber-modified asphalt adds greater adhesive strengths to roads and aggregate surfaces, maintaining a tough bond and cohesive strength over time. Products created with Wright’s TRMAC™ process exhibit excellent resistance to high-temperature rutting and aging, while still maintaining cold temperature flexibility.

Wright Asphalt has incorporated nearly 80,000 tons of recycled tire rubber in pavement maintenance and hot-mix applications.

Lion Oil Company was founded in El Dorado, Arkansas, in 1922. In addition to a full line of petroleum products, Lion produces specialty asphalt products for highway contractors, emulsion manufacturers, roofing plants, and wood treatment operations, as well as state, county, and municipal government agencies.

For more information: Dan Quire – Southeast Regional Sales Manager – Wright Asphalt 615-290-3600 dquire@wrightasphalt.com

About Today’s Power

Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) was formed in November 2014 by Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) to serve Arkansas’ electric cooperatives who had a desire to provide behind-the-meter, energy related products and services.

TPI is now an integral part of helping the electric cooperative and public power sector serve customers who are interested in solar and emerging technologies as well as municipalities, school districts and commercial businesses of all sizes.

TPI’s unique approach to in-depth analysis of utility rates and billing allows it to design renewable energy systems and manage that energy to maximize the benefits of solar and storage for a not-for-profit as well as for-profit entities.

Offering customized renewable energy systems TPI has:

  • Completed the largest solar array on municipal land in Arkansas.
  • Completed ground on first battery energy storage system in the Mid-South.
  • Dedicated first solar project under Arkansas Act 464.
  • Since 2015, TPI has dedicated over 20 utility-scale and commercial solar projects in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
  • In 2019, dedicated five solar projects for electric cooperatives in Hamburg, Brookland, Forrest City, Salem, and Newport.
  • Additional solar projects to be placed in service soon in Ouachita County, Clark County, Texarkana, Mena, Clay County, Star City and Paris, as well as many retail loads to follow.
  • Created 14 acres of habitats for stressed species like quail and monarch butterflies
  • TPI has ensured that electric consumers will save more than $2.5 million annually because of solar projects installed or committed.

For more information: Jennah Denney – Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator – Today’s Power, Inc. 501-400-5548 or jdenney@todayspower.com