SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), Silicon Ranch Corporation, Southern Arkansas University Tech (SAUTech), Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation (OECC), and Highland Industrial Park, Inc. will celebrate Earth Day 2016 on Friday, April 22 with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Department of Environmental Quality Director Becky Keogh.
The Aerojet Rocketdyne Solar Farm is a finalist for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) TECHe Award, and the winner will be announced as part of the ceremony. The TECHe Award is being presented for the first time this year as recognition for advances in, or innovative use of, technology that breaks new ground in protecting resources or improving the environment by going beyond traditional environmental control measures, approaches or outcomes.
The award ceremony will be held on Earth Day in conjunction with the 11th Annual ADEQ Arkansas Environmental Stewardship Awards ceremony which honors organizations protecting resources or improving the environment as well as efforts to enhance and protect Arkansas’ natural resources.
“Earth Day 2016 is a great opportunity to bring together Arkansans and friends from around the country to celebrate environmental excellence and the sustainable accomplishments occurring in Arkansas,” said Gene Hill, president of Highland Industrial Park of East Camden.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s 12 megawatt solar farm, located at the Highland Industrial Business Park in East Camden, Arkansas is the largest operating solar field in the state. It was completed in late 2015 and consists of more than 151,000 domestically-produced solar panels that will produce more than 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. It is capable of generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 2,400 single-family homes.
According to Mark Cayce, general manager of OECC, “The solar farm benefits our member owners by avoiding peak load when costs are greatest, while adding clean solar energy to the mix.”
“Aerojet Rocketdyne is honored to have been nominated for this award, along with our fellow finalists who are doing what is right for Arkansas, industry and the environment,” said Chris Conley, vice president of safety, health and environment at Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The Aerojet Rocketdyne Solar Farm is the success of a collective group of community-minded organizations, including SAUTech, OECC, Silicon Ranch, AECC and Highland Industrial Park, Inc.
“This has been a team effort from the beginning and it is a pleasure to celebrate as a team, not only our contributions, but the sustainable accomplishments that continue to make Arkansas a great place to live and conduct business,” said Erik Didriksen, a safety, health and environment strategist at Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The solar farm is owned by Tennessee solar provider, Silicon Ranch. Through a unique set of contracts, known as power purchase agreements, Silicon Ranch sells power to Aerojet Rocketdyne and AECC.
“This public-private partnership is a testament to the fact that we can indeed protect the environment while simultaneously promoting economic growth and prosperity in Arkansas, adding further justification to its designation as The Natural State,” said Matt Kisber, president and CEO of Silicon Ranch.
The non-emitting energy provided by the farm is expected to power about 30 percent of the industrial energy needs of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s East Camden facility. The remaining solar energy will add solar to the energy mix of AECC and ultimately its 17 distribution cooperatives that serve more than 1.2 million Arkansans.
“Southern Arkansas is open for business,” said Corbet Lamkin, chancellor emeritus at SAUTech. “Its workforce and natural resources are unparalleled. This solar farm represents the first major step in bringing renewable energy to Arkansas. It is a pleasure to join the governor and Director Keogh in Arkansas Earth Day recognitions.”
The Aerojet Rocketdyne Solar Farm is a key element in Calhoun County’s competition for the Georgetown University Energy Prize. Calhoun County is among finalists competing for the $5 million prize, which will be awarded next year to the community/utility partnership that demonstrates “innovative, replicable, scalable and continual reductions in the per capita energy consumed from local natural gas and electric utilities.”
About Aerojet Rocketdyne
Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.
About Silicon Ranch Corporation
Silicon Ranch Corporation, one of the top 15 solar operators in the U.S., is a full-service, renewable energy provider that customizes solar solutions based upon the individual needs of its customers. Silicon Ranch’s value to its customers is its ability to develop and execute solar solutions that help companies build brand equity and pursue a socially responsible community benefit while allowing those companies to focus on their core business activities. Silicon Ranch has been instrumental in helping its partners accomplish numerous “firsts” in their respective marketplaces. More information is available at www.siliconranchcorp.com.
About Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation
Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation is a locally owned electric distribution cooperative that provides electricity services to approximately 9,500 homes, farms and businesses in Southern Arkansas servicing Calhoun, and parts of Dallas, Ouachita, Bradley and Nevada counties. OECC is a member of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, a brand that represents a nationwide alliance made of more than 700 local, member-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. Additional information about OECC is available at www.oecc.com.
About Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Little Rock. AECC is the wholesale power supplier for 17 member electric distribution cooperatives in Arkansas. The cooperative has approximately 3,916 MW of generation capacity resources. AECC assists its member cooperatives in improving the quality of life through the delivery of reliable electric power and related services. Additional information about AECC is available at www.aecc.com.
About Southern Arkansas University, Tech
As a two-year college under the Southern Arkansas University System, SAU Tech provides career technical, online and transfer degrees and operates the Arkansas Environmental Training Academy. Since its inception in 1968, the College has provided business and industry training to area businesses and to the industries inside the Highland Industrial Park where the College’s campus is located. For more information about SAU Tech and the students the College serves, go to www.sautech.edu.
About Highland Industrial Park, Inc.
Highland Industrial Park is a part of the former Shumaker Naval Ammunition Depot. Located in the town of East Camden, the Highland Industrial complex has over 1,000 buildings, containing over 5,500,000 square feet of space for manufacturing and warehousing www.highlandindustrialpark.com.
For additional information, contact: Glenn Mahone, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 202.302.9941 or firstname.lastname@example.org Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or email@example.com Matt Beasley, Silicon Ranch Corporation, 615.577.4616 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc.