Ameren to add 45 MW of solar PV in Missouri

The dominant utility provider of the U.S. state of Missouri has unveiled an ambitious energy development plan that would see the state add 500 MW of renewable power generation over the next 20 years.

Missouri Public Service Commission has announced a collaboration with Ameren Missouri – a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation – called the Integrated Resource Plan. Under the plan, Ameren would fulfill the utility’s preferred approach to meeting the state’s energy needs: namely, a cost-effective and sustainable solution to rising energy demand.

The 20-year plan will see Missouri Public Service Commission cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 30% between now and 2035, with the planned installation of 400 MW of wind power capacity driving most of the change.

Solar power, however, will play a significant role in the transformation of the state’s energy mix, Ameren has announced, with the energy provider keen to begin construction next year on the first two solar PV plants. Currently, many of Missouri’s electric generation units are close to 50 years old, making the transition to a cleaner source of energy something of a no-brainer for state decision makers.

"We are committed to accomplishing this transition to cleaner energy in a way that is cost-effective and environmentally responsible while maintaining the reliability our customers expect," said Ameren Missouri’s CEO, chairman and president, Michael Moehn. "The plan we have developed and are executing on also calls for preserving energy efficiency programs that help residents and businesses save money, because the cost of saving a kilowatt-hour of electricity is generally less expensive than the cost of generating it from a new resource."

The first of Ameren’s large-scale solar plants is nearing completion. The 5.7 MW installation is located in the O’Fallon district of St. Louis, and should begin commercial operation later this year. The company wishes to add a further 45 MW of solar PV capacity via the 20-year plan, allied to 28 MW of hydroelectric power, 5 MW of landfill gas and the aforementioned 400 MW of wind power.