The Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) Utility Sales Department won't be going off the grid anytime soon, but they are testing another source of power – solar energy.
In early 2009, the department purchased solar panels as part of a pilot program to test small-scale solar power systems to determine if AECI might add them to their product offerings.
Preformed Line Products installed the system which has 33 panels and cost about $47,000. In addition to the panels, the system has an inverter that converts the DC power produced by the panels to AC power that is used in the building. The system has a generation capacity of 7,000 watts.