Deer Creek Mini Storage in Cabot, Ark., installed 80 solar panels on its rooftops this month, becoming the first self-storage facility in Central Arkansas with a solar-energy system. The operator partnered with energy-solutions provider Seal Solar to install the panels, which will produce nearly 40,000 kilowatts of power annually for the property at 12 Douglas Road. The system is expected to save the business $140,000 in energy costs over 30 years, according to a source.
To help cover project costs, Deer Creek secured several funding incentives, including a $16,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program, according to facility owner Alese Stroud. “Deer Creek Mini Storage has expansive rooftops, abundant sun exposure and eco-conscious consumers," she told a source. "Environmentally and financially, solar was the right choice [for the company].”
Stroud also opted to use LED lighting and energy-efficient insulation. After renovations, the solar panels are expected to power 90 percent of the facility’s energy needs.
Deer Creek also took advantage of government tax incentives, some of which will change at year-end. They included the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a federal program that allows commercial and residential investors to deduct 30 percent of the solar-installation cost from federal taxes. The ITC incentive will drop to 26 percent in 2020 and 22 percent in 2021. In 2022, it’ll fall to 10 percent for commercial installations and will no longer be available for residential projects, a source reported.
“Thanks to state and federal incentives, including the 30 percent [ITC], solar is more affordable than ever,” Heather Nelson, co-founder and chief operating officer of Seal Solar, told a source.
The incentive programs have helped propel solar projects in the state. In 2017, Arkansas ranked 46th in the nation for solar installations, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Its ranking jumped to No. 18 last year.
Seal Solar specializes in solar-power projects for businesses, farmers and government entities. With offices in North Little Rock, Ark., and Ridgeland, Miss., it’s completed more than 250 projects since 2015, according to its website.
Deer Creek offers traditional self-storage as well as secure parking for RVs, boats, cars and jet skis. Facility features include 24-hour access, video surveillance, temperature-controlled and drive-up units, online billpay, 24-hour phone access, and mobile account access.
Arkansas Business, Solar Companies Push Customers to Act Before Tax Incentive Declines
Arkansas Money & Politics, Seal Solar Installs Panels for First Solar-Powered Storage Facility in State
Deer Creek Mini Storage, Website