Florida-based aerospace and defense corporation, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (OTS), announced earlier this year a partnership with Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) of North Little Rock, Arkansas, to develop two 1.2-MW solar arrays at their facilities based in Calhoun County, Arkansas.
The projects, now finished, provide the defense company with clean electricity. In addition, this project marks the dramatic arrival of battery energy storage in the already robust renewable footprint of South Arkansas. Two Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) for Ouachita Electric Cooperative (OECC) were coupled with the two solar arrays installed for General Dynamics-OTS.
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems began the information gathering for this project in 2018 with the objective of attaining energy cost reduction and environmental sustainability. With the existing strategic partnership with Ouachita Electric Cooperative and the State of Arkansas, it was apparent that there was viable opportunity to create a solution that would benefit the environment, the surrounding community and General Dynamics-OTS.
TPI was chosen as the developer for this project after the RFP phase was completed and provided all the equipment, materials, and services needed for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the completed solar facility.
Shortly after the decision of General Dynamics-OTS to go solar, and as more renewables are coming online, OECC saw the opportunity to invest in infrastructure that could enhance the distribution system’s resiliency by leveraging the opportunity to demonstrate grid reliability with battery storage and solar energy.
“Together with our partners TPI and OECC, we have found a solution for expanding our usage of renewable energy and attaining environmental sustainability. This project not only lowers cost, but more importantly, it positively impacts our employees, our community and the environment. This initiative is the foundation for future endeavors as we continue to reduce our operation’s carbon footprint,” said Eric Ellis, VP precision systems at General Dynamics-OTS.
The solar systems will power General Dynamics-OTS Camden Operations, which is an industry leader in the high rate production, system integration and testing of energetic products. As part of General Dynamics-OTS, Camden Operations serves as the company’s explosive load, assemble and pack facility, supporting a variety of U.S. military programs, including the HYDRA 70 2.75 inch rocket, Hellfire, Javelin, Stormbreaker and JASSM warheads, the Modular Artillery Charge System (MACS), and various other ordnance programs. Camden Operations houses over 880,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage space with approximately 300 employees.
The two on-site energy storage systems store electricity generated from the two solar installations and have an output of 2.4 MW for two hours. TPI has developed the battery energy storage system to minimize the wholesale power costs of OECC while also increasing the resiliency of the grid for all OECC customers, as this facility will also supplement the other distribution facilities of Ouachita Electric, such as the OECC substation in Hampton.
“TPI is excited to partner with GD-OTS and OECC to provide both entities with significant savings. With this renewable sustainable net metering facility, GD-OTS can produce more economical defense products which helps all Americans and the solar + storage facility will help OECC achieve significant savings for all of its members. Its rare when one project can benefit so many consumers. I applaud the leadership of GD-OTS and OECC on making this project a reality,” said Michael Henderson, president of TPI.
News item from TPI