Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Smart Grid Technologies (Power Electronics)

Arkansas Gives You the Power

Southwest Power Pool, one of nine Regional Transmission Organizations in the United States, is headquartered in Little Rock where it operates the regional power grid, serving as the equivalent of “air traffic controllers” of the electric power grid. From Little Rock, the company manages more than 71,000 megawatts of generating capacity, with 859 generation plants and 6,101 substations in its operating region. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) broke ground on a new regional operations center in Little Rock in 2014.

Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc., located in Fayetteville, is a power electronics research and development company that specializes in high-density power electronic solutions and products. They were awarded a stimulus grant for research into developing a high-capacity, high-speed charger for batteries used in hybrid electric vehicles. 

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4th lowest cost of doing business in the nation.

CNBC's Top States For Business, 2015

Companies finding success in Arkansas

Engineers in Arkansas are projected to increase by more than 12 percent from 2013 to 2023.

  • Income Tax Credits
  • Infrastructure Grants
  • Payroll Rebates
  • Sales Tax Credits & Refunds
  • Arkansas is home to 24 four-year colleges and universities and 22 two-year public colleges
  • Nearly 50% of Arkansans have an associate’s, bachelor’s or graduate degree or have attended some college
  • Engineers in Arkansas are projected to increase by more than 12% from 2013 to 2023

The National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission, part of the University of Arkansas College of Engineering, conducts research and develops prototypes of advanced power systems and provides an educated workforce for newly emerging technologies of power utility and power electronics.

The University of Arkansas also offers a Master’s of Science and Doctoral program in Microelectronics Photonics, which can also be a source of talent for companies related to distributed energy network systems and power electronics.

Available Buildings and Sites

The Arkansas Research and Technology Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas offers office and laboratory space for technology-based companies. The park includes:

  • Enterprise Center
  • Innovation Center
  • GENESIS Technology Incubator
  • High Density Electronics Center
  • Engineering Research Center
  • National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission

The Arkansas Innovation Hub is a 15,000 square foot space that includes a co-working space and technology lab. Plans are also underway for development of a technology/entrepreneurship park in downtown Little Rock.

Transportation & Infrastructure

Arkansas is centrally located between Mexico City and Montreal, offering easy access to 40% of the U.S. population. The state's transportation infrastructure provides a variety of efficient options to get products to market. Major market centers in the region include Memphis, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and St. Louis.


  • I-40, reaching from North Carolina to California, runs through Arkansas
  • I-55 links eastern Arkansas to St. Louis & Chicago to the north and New Orleans to the south
  • I-30 connects Arkansas with markets to the southwest, including Texas and Mexico


  • 3 Class I Systems: Union Pacific, BNSF Railway and Kansas City Southern Railway
  • Union Pacific operates major yards in Little Rock and Pine Bluff
  • 22 smaller railroads operate over more than 2,700 miles of track
  • 40 available sites which are rail served


  • Major commercial airports are located in Central and Northwest Arkansas: The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport has 120+ flight arrivals and departures each day, with non-stop jet service to 14 national/international gateway cities. Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport provides non-stop service to 14 national/international gateway cities on nearly 50 flights each day.
  • Memphis International Airport is located less than 15 miles from the Arkansas state line
  • 6 regional airports located throughout the state


  • 3 ports located along the Arkansas River: Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Fort Smith 
  • 4 Mississippi River terminals: Osceola, West Memphis, Helena and McGehee