Demand for advanced energy technologies and services continues to grow in Arkansas, as illustrated by the 2017 Annual Report from the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association and its educational affiliate, the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation. A review of 2017 activity shows the economic impact of Arkansas’s advanced energy industry and business leaders’ active engagement in policy and business initiatives to further expand the market.

AAEA, the business voice for advanced energy in Arkansas, remains focused on policies that encourage the growth of the advanced energy economy and workforce, industry leaders said.

“In 2017, AAEA was actively engaged in the 91st session of the Arkansas General Assembly and participated in key regulatory proceedings before the Arkansas Public Service Commission, including the ongoing public utility energy efficiency programs’ collaborative and the year-long Net Metering Working Group,” said Gary McChesney, Chief Technology Officer for FutureFuel Chemical Company in Batesville and Chairman of the AAEA Board of Directors. “Tremendous potential to expand renewable energy generation exists in Arkansas, which would significantly benefit the state’s economy by creating jobs and lowering energy costs for households and businesses. As we enter 2018, we expect another active year at the APSC as AAEA serves as an intervening party in a docket examining Distributed Energy Resources and third-party data access issues.”

AAEF has established a reputation as the leading source for well-researched, fact-based data on the Arkansas advanced energy economy and convener of educational programming where advanced energy leaders and other influencers discuss Arkansas’s energy landscape and opportunities for the future.

“We witnessed the advanced energy market’s rapid growth in 2017 with AAEF’s activities helping to foster that growth,” said Dr. Elizabeth Hood, CEO of Infinite Enzymes, and Chair of the AAEF Board of Directors. “With this market expansion, the need for AAEF’s continued engagement has never been more critical. In 2018, we will build on our successful record and continue to encourage advanced energy innovation and deployment through our ongoing educational and research initiatives.”

The organizations’ success is due to the valuable partnerships established with members and key partners, executive director Katie Laning Niebaum noted.

“AAEA members – from business leaders to government officials to researchers – are driving the state’s transition to a new energy economy,” Niebaum said. “AAEA will remain focused on initiatives that encourage the deployment of advanced energy technologies and allow the industry to continue its role as a key contributor to the state’s economy.”