Here we go again.
The coming hearing is a “procedural anomaly” to make sure the commission is complying with public hearing requirements established by the state Bureau of Legislative Affairs, which monitors state agency rules.
“I’m sure that a lot of the folks that we heard from in December we’ll hear from again,” Thomas said.
Meanwhile, solar has been in the spotlight over the past two months.
Major agreements have been announced by Lexicon Inc., Innerplan Office Interiors, the city of Alma and Central Arkansas Water, among others. The water utility announced that it could save $7 million over 30 years by going solar; Lexicon noted it would save $320,000 annually in electric bills by using solar to help power its Little Rock headquarters and steel mill in Mississippi County.
In December, Bank OZK announced one of the largest local solar projects just a week after the previous Public Service Commission hearing. The bank is investing $6 million in a solar system to deliver electricity to its new corporate headquarters in west Little Rock and generate enough power to also light up 40 other banking locations in the state.
Entergy Arkansas leads other electric providers in the state in arguing that utilities pay too much for the power solar users return to the grid, and that leads to cost shifting that puts more of a financial burden on non-solar customers.
ARVEST SETS RECORD
“Our team was privileged to assist thousands of families with their home loan ne,” division president and Chief Executive Officer Steven Plaisance said. “While many benefited from the low rates to refinance, we were also excited to assist a record number of families purchase homes.”
Arvest services 99% of its mortgage loans, meaning that customers make their payments to Arvest and work directly with Arvest for any ne after their loan closes. Arvest currently services more than 310,000 mortgage loans, totaling more than $59 billion.
FOOD AND DRUG
There’s still time to sign up to attend the annual educational conference for the Mid-Continental Association of Food and Drugs Officials. The conference runs Feb. 25-26 at the Embassy Suites in Rogers.
The day before the conference begins, the association is holding an environmental sampling workshop to teach practices that will help prevent illnesses from spreading in retail food services such as restaurants and groceries. The workshop is limited to 36 individuals on a first-come, first-serve basis.
That same day, Feb. 24, there will be a Heartland Food Safety Roundtable meeting to discuss hot-topic issues related to food safety. The round-table includes local, state, regional and national food-safety regulators who provide the latest information to protect consumers from catching or spreading illness in a retail environment.
Both meetings also are scheduled at the Embassy Suites.
More information is available at mcafdo.afdo.org.
GOING ON TWO DECADES
Midnight today is the deadline for student teams to enter the Governor’s Cup competition, which has an all-cash $154,000 prize pool available. This is the 20th year of the competition, which helps students understand and overcome the challenges that arise in startup businesses.
Arkansas college and university students who want to explore a business idea or learn more about entrepreneurship are invited to compete. More than 40 teams are expected in this year’s event, which concludes with winners announced in April.
RISE UP INITIATIVE
Feb. 24 is the deadline to sign up for a pitch opportunity.
Rise of the Rest is a nationwide effort that invests in and mentors entrepreneurs.
Since 2014, the bus tour has traveled nearly 12,000 miles to 43 cities, investing in startups along the way. At each stop, Rise of the Rest awards $100,000 to a local entrepreneur.