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Ameren Missouri bets big on renewable energy

CTBR Staff Writer Published 26 September 2017

Electric power utility company Ameren Missouri plans to invest $1bn to add at least 700 MW of wind energy by 2020, as part of plans to dramatically reduce its impact on the environment.

The St. Louis-based subsidiary of Ameren Corp also plans to add 100 MW of solar generation by 2027. Of the total, 50 MW is expected to come online by 2025

Ameren Missouri says that the wind projects will be located in Missouri and in neighbouring states by installing American-made turbines. It is yet to decide on source, location and cost of the new wind farms with potential developers.

The company expects to save about 570,000 MWh of energy, which is equivalent to the consumption by 45,000 homes and carbon emissions equivalent of taking away 115,000 cars off the street.

Ameren Missouri’s plan is also retire over half of its coal-fired electricity generating capacity. This includes retiring the Meramec Energy Center in south St. Louis County by 2022 end.

Apart from these plans, the company also plans to upgrade to smart energy grid to support more and more renewable energy, universal and private solar and customers’ desire for more timely information.

Ameren Missouri expects that in the next two decades, the energy grid will be able to take in power from hundreds or even thousands of small and regional renewable energy generators to the grid in real time, while maintaining grid reliability demanded by customers.

Ameren Missouri president Michael Moehn said: "This is Ameren Missouri's largest-ever commitment to clean, renewable energy.

"We are committed to bringing our customers innovative solutions that are both cost-effective and environmentally responsible while maintaining the reliability our customers expect."

He continued saying: "We expect this tremendous growth in wind generation to provide great value to our customers, who will save money on energy costs.

"Because of significant advancement in technology, harnessing wind is less expensive than other forms of new generation."

Ameren Missouri claims that by investing in renewable energy schemes, it has a goal of reducing carbon emissions by up to 80% by 2050 from 2005 level.

In order to meet this long term target, it plans to have at least 35% of its electricity through renewable sources by 2030 and to have 50% by 2040 from 2005 level.

Image: Ameren Missouri to invest over $1bn in renewables in the next decade. Photo: Courtesy of Ali Farid/FreeImages.com.