The Ashley County Quorum Court approved Monday a petition for annexation and the Crossett City Council adopted Tuesday an ordinance that will officially annex the site of the future location of a massive new solar farm.

Officials have said in the past that the solar farm could represent a $150 million, 800-acre investment in the area. It’s expected to generate between 400 and 600 construction jobs.

The Crossett council adopted two ordinances on Tuesday night. The first was titled, “An Ordinance Accepting the Annexation of the Land to the city of Crossett.”

The second ordinance adopted was titled, “An Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds for the Purpose of Providing Financing For Industrial Facilities; and Authorizing a Lease Agreement Between the City of Crossett As Lesser and Crossett Solar Energy.”

The second ordinance is an agreement between the solar company and the city of Crossett to use bonds to finance the project.

In August, the property owners filed a petition with Ashley County to allow the annexation of the land and make it a part of the City of Crossett. The quorum approved the petition Monday, and County Judge Jim Hudson subsequently signed it.

The Crossett City Council met Tuesday evening to accept the land into the city limits by adopting an ordinance.

Tuesday night’s ordinances were a product of an ongoing project that started in 2019 when the city began discussing entering into a PILOT agreement with RES Americas to build a solar farm south of town.

In January, the city council adopted an ordinance that stated that the the construction, expansion and equipping of industrial facilities would be funded through the issuance of industrial revenue bonds. 

While the bonds were being issued with the city’s blessing, the company will be obligated to pay back the bonds. 

RES Americas and the City of Crossett also entered into a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement — which amounts to a significant tax rebate — at that time.

As the project developed, officials determined that the City of Crossett would need to annex the solar farm property for the project to move forward.

RES has already secured a power purchase agreement with the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation for when the 100-MegaWatt solar farm is operational. Company officials have previously said it will be able to power approximately 18,300 residential customers when it is at capacity.

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