Schools, organizations encouraged to apply now to host solar panels
ST. LOUIS, MO (STL.News) – Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), is looking to spread solar generation across the state in a new way. As part of the Neighborhood Solar program made possible by a law passed by the Missouri General Assembly in 2018, Ameren Missouri will install solar generation facilities in parking lots, on roofs and in available open spaces across the state. Ideal partners in this program are non-profit organizations, schools, institutions or other non-residential locations that act as a gathering spot in the community.
“Ameren Missouri’s Neighborhood Solar program is about more than generating renewable energy, it’s about impact. We’re measuring that impact in a number of ways, including increased job training, education and investments in renewable energy in the Missouri communities we serve and call home,” said Matt Forck, vice president of community, economic development and energy solutions, Ameren Missouri.
Interested organizations can learn more and fill out an application at AmerenMissouri.com/NeighborhoodSolar.
The application and review process will move quickly. Ameren Missouri will score each application as it is received, looking at factors such as amount of solar generation possible, total installation cost, support of the energy grid, neighborhood benefits, electric vehicle charging opportunities and ties to workforce training and development. Ameren Missouri will construct and maintain the facilities. Residential customers are not eligible. All customers, however, will benefit from the addition of more renewable energy coming onto the grid.
Initial sites for the program may be chosen as soon as December with construction targeted to begin in the early part of 2020. As many as seven sites are planned to be built as part of this first application process. The total number of facilities depends on several factors, including construction costs. Ameren Missouri plans to spend at least $14 million on the program.
“I expect Neighborhood Solar sites will touch all corners of our service territory across the state. It’s another way we’re transitioning to cleaner forms of generation in a responsible fashion,” Forck said.
The Neighborhood Solar program is part of Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan, which includes thousands of electric projects designed to create a smarter, stronger, more reliable energy grid and introduce new sources of renewable energy, all while keeping rates stable and predictable.
Ameren Missouri plans to install 100 megawatts (MW) of new solar generation by 2027. The Neighborhood Solar program, along with Community Solar and the recently announced Solar + Storage program, all fit into those plans. The additional solar generation, along with investments to own at least 700 MW of new wind generation will help Ameren Missouri achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 based on 2005 levels.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri’s mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area.