Four years after installation, solar panels are connected to VA | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Four years after installation, solar panels are connected to VA

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 3:31 PM

click to enlarge The solar panels, as they appeared after installation in 2013.
  • The solar panels, as they appeared after installation in 2013.
In August 2013, the company installing solar panels at the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock predicted power would be turned on within the month.

On April 23, 2017, the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System got the all clear from Entergy to connect to the solar panels.

There's been much ridicule over the $8 million project and criticism of its oversight. Some of the 7,000 panels installed were put up over a parking area the VA apparently knew would be made into a parking deck and had to be torn down, a process that reportedly cost the VA another $1.5 million.

In today's announcement, the VA said Entergy, VA engineers and the solar array contractors tested the system to make sure that Entergy's power grid would be protected by an unexpected power surge. From the announcement:

“This is an exciting day for CAVHS,” said Dr. Margie Scott, Medical Center director. “There have been some delays along the way, and a concerted effort by our engineers and contractor along with Entergy have resulted in a successful test.”

Three of four solar sites are functioning; a fourth has a "minor issue," the VA said. Scott said the solar panels will produce 10 percent to 12 percent of the hospital's electrical power.

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