Missouri Utility Announces $1 Billion Wind Investment

Posted by Betsy Lillian on September 25, 2017 No Comments
Categories : New & Noteworthy

Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corp., is planning a major expansion of wind and solar generation, as well as an overall carbon-emissions reduction.

The company, which has 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri, covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. Under its new plan, Ameren will add at least 700 MW of wind generation by 2020, representing an investment of approximately $1 billion. It also expects to add 100 MW of solar generation over the next 10 years; 50 MW is anticipated to come online by 2025.

The new wind generation is expected to be located in Missouri and neighboring states by using U.S.-made turbines. Further details are still under negotiation with several developers, Ameren notes.

“We expect this tremendous growth in wind generation to provide great value to our customers, who will save money on energy costs,” says Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri. “Because of significant advancements in technology, harnessing wind is less expensive than other forms of new generation.”

The addition of 100 MW of solar over the next 10 years is expected to be developed in multiple phases. Planning is underway on two projects: Earlier this year, Ameren Missouri announced plans to build a solar generation facility at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. That facility is expected to be complete in 2018. A separate project creates partnerships with business customers to locate an Ameren Missouri-owned solar generation facility on their property.

Further, the company is establishing a goal of reducing its carbon emissions 80% by 2050 from its 2005 levels. To meet this goal, Ameren Missouri is targeting a 35% carbon-emissions reduction by 2030 and a 50% reduction by 2040.

Specifics of the plan include as follows:

  • Managing an energy efficiency program, consisting of a comprehensive portfolio of programs for business and residential customers. The energy-savings goal for the current three-year plan is 570,000 MWh, equivalent to the energy used by nearly 45,000 homes;
  • Retiring over half of Ameren Missouri’s coal-fired generating capacity. This includes retiring the Meramec Energy Center in south St. Louis County by the end of 2022;
  • Addressing the need to transition to a smart energy grid; and
  • Establishing Ameren Missouri’s integrated resource plan (IRP), a 20-year outlook that supports cleaner energy in Missouri. The IRP, filed today with the Missouri Public Service Commission, is consistent with Missouri’s renewable energy standard.

“This is Ameren Missouri’s largest-ever commitment to clean, renewable energy,” says Moehn. “We are committed to bringing our customers innovative solutions that are both cost-effective and environmentally responsible while maintaining the reliability our customers expect.”

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