With 123 sunny days a year and sunlight hours making up 61 percent of the day on average, Arkansas is beginning to realize its potential for solar energy. In 2014, 2MW of solar capacity, worth about $6 million, were installed, which was a 1,000 percent increase over 2013. Although Arkansas does not have a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), it is developing policies and offering rebates as it progresses toward a greener energy standard. Learn more about solar energy policies, incentives for solar users, and companies who install solar panels in Arkansas.

Arkansas’ Solar
Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

Electricity Price Trends in Arkansas

At $.104/kWh for residential and $.877/kWh overall, electricity in Arkansas costs over $.02/kWh less than the national averages. When electricity is cheap, there is less incentive for homeowners to install solar projects. While about 7 percent of the state’s electric power comes from renewable resources–primarily biomass and hydroelectric facilities – coal is the main source of electricity in the state. Solar is a small part of the equation, but the industry is growing.

Cost of Residential Electricity

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

Arkansas
Solar Incentive Programs

Solar Energy Incentives & Policies in Arkansas

Like many of the states slow to embrace solar, Arkansas does not have a Renewable Portfolio Standard, so there are no official renewable energy or solar goals. However, net-metering programs, which date back to 2002 in Arkansas, are offered by all of the state’s utilities and allow owners to receive credit for excess power produced over a 12-month period.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

None

None for residential specifically

AEP SWEPCO – Commercial and Industrial Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs:

AEP Southwestern Electric Power offers incentives to Arkansas commercial property owners that add energy efficient systems to their buildings. Incentives for solar PV systems are $450/kW and $0.3500/kWh.

TAX CREDITS

None

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

TAX EXEMPTIONS

None

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

POLICIES

Net Metering:

Property owners with PV systems can receive credits from their utility company for systems with a capacity of less than 25 kW (for residential customers) and 300kW (for commercial customers).

Interconnection Guidelines:

Arkansas energy customers with renewable solar systems that are a maximum of 300 kW (commercial) and 25 kW (residential) can connect to the power grid. Customers are responsible for installing an external disconnection switch to the system and it must be designed to disconnect if utility service goes down.

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

Solar Panel Companies & Contractors in Arkansas

More than 20 solar companies employ about 500 people throughout Arkansas’ still-developing solar industry. Homeowners definitely have options when looking for help designing and installing a solar system. Here is a list of solar contractors in the state: 

Arkansas Wind and Solar

Arkansas Wind and Solar specializes in renewable energy systems and provides solar electricity and solar hot water systems to residents of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Where it operatesPrairie Grove, AR

Gann Electric

Gann Electric offers a huge array of electrical services to customers, including the installation of both ground and rooftop solar PV systems.

Where it operatesBased in Topeka, KS; operates in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma

Libco Solar

Libo solar not only installs solar PV systems, the company also does site surveys and provides all the parts necessary for those who want to build and install their solar systems on their own. Libco also offers financing options.

Where it operatesHot Springs, AR

Year of opening2008

New Farm Solar

New Farm Solar is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. They design and install grid-tied, battery based grid-tie and off-grid solar energy systems.

Where it operatesPonca, AR

Year of opening2014

Roberts-McNutt Inc

This roofing and waterproofing company also offers site survey, consultation, design and installation of solar PV and thermal solar systems.

Where it operatesSpringdale, AR and Jonesboro, AR

Year of opening1968; Solar division founded in 2011

Solar Solutions

Solar Solutions specializes in residential rooftop solar energy systems. The company sells and supports grid-tied, off-grid and hybrid PV systems to customers within a 100 mile radius of the Ozarks.

Where it operatesMountain Home, AR

Year of opening2014

Stellar Sun

Stellar Sun’s CEO started out specializing in greenhouses, sun rooms and solar water heating. Today, the company continues bringing the sun to customers through solar PV design and installation.

Where it operatesScott, AR

Year of opening1976

Stitt Energy Systems

Stitt’s focus has been on building energy efficient, environmentally responsible homes since from the beginning. The company specializes in building home with passive solar energy systems as well as solar PV systems.

Where it operatesRogers, AR

Year of opening1978

Sun City Solar Energy

Sun City provides solar energy systems for commercial and residential buildings. They offer on- and off-grid PV, solar hot water, attic fan and pool heating systems.

Where it operatesLittle Rock, AR and North West, AR

Year of opening1983

Resources for Further Solar Research

Arkansas Renewable Energy Association

Find helpful and historical links related to renewable energy, request a solar quote and keep up with renewable energy legislation at this nonprofit’s website. AREA is also a chapter of the American Solar Energy Society.

Arkansas Energy Office

Learn about energy efficiency, clean technology and sustainable strategies as well as specifics about solar water heating systems.

Arkansas Public Service Commission

Meet the panel charged with ensuring that Arkansas’ public utilities provide safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates and find annual reports and information about upcoming hearings.

Arkansas State Legislature

Search recently filed bills pertaining to solar and other renewable resources in the General Assembly, find your legislator and keep abreast of the latest legislative news.

Arkansas Alternative Energy Commission

Find links to solar research and documents pertaining to alternative energy developments in Arkansas.

DSIRE Incentives Database – Arkansas

Search the database to find federal and Arkansas-specific information and links about financial incentives for solar energy and other renewable resources.

U.S. Energy Information Administration

Find statistics from the federal government about energy use – both fossil fuel and renewable energy — in Arkansas as well as state-by-state analysis of the state’s renewable resources.