ST. LOUIS, Sept. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Missouri announced today a forward-thinking plan to dramatically increase the amount of wind and solar generation to provide cost-effective and sustainable energy for its customers.
Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), plans to add at least 700 megawatts of wind generation by 2020, representing an investment of approximately $1 billion. The potential exists to add even more wind generation in the coming years as a result of improving technology and economics, as well as renewable energy initiatives with large customers.
The company also plans to add 100 megawatts of solar generation over the next 10 years, with 50 megawatts expected to come online by 2025.
"This is Ameren Missouri's largest-ever commitment to clean, renewable energy," said Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri. "We are committed to bringing our customers innovative solutions that are both cost-effective and environmentally responsible while maintaining the reliability our customers expect."
The new wind generation is expected to be located in Missouri and neighboring states using American-made turbines. The source, location and cost of the new wind generation is still under negotiation with several developers.
"We expect this tremendous growth in wind generation to provide great value to our customers, who will save money on energy costs," Moehn said. "Because of significant advancement in technology, harnessing wind is less expensive than other forms of new generation."
The planned generation is expected to be operational by 2020.
"We believe it is in our customers' long-term best interest for Ameren Missouri to own this wind generation," said Ajay Arora, vice president of environmental services and generation resource planning at Ameren.
The addition of 100 megawatts of solar generation 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.
"These innovative solar programs have great promise," Arora said. "Moving generation assets closer to where the energy is needed most is one of the ways we're making the grid smarter, stronger and more resilient."
Further, the company is establishing a goal of reducing its carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 from the 2005 level.
"We are the first investor-owned utility in the state, and among the first in the country, to announce a carbon emissions goal of this magnitude," Moehn said.
To meet this goal, Ameren Missouri is targeting a 35 percent carbon emissions reduction by 2030 and a 50 percent reduction by 2040 from the 2005 level. Since 2005, Ameren Missouri has significantly reduced emissions, including a 26 percent reduction in carbon emissions in 2016.
Specifics of Ameren Missouri's plan also include:
- Managing the largest, most comprehensive energy efficiency program in Missouri's history. The plan consists of a comprehensive portfolio of programs for business and residential customers. The energy savings goal for the current three-year plan is 570,000 megawatt-hours, equivalent to the energy used by nearly 45,000 homes, and representing a carbon-emissions reduction equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the street. These programs give residents and businesses tools to save money and help make costs more predictable.
- 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 that can support more renewable energy, universal and private solar and customers' desire for more timely information. In the next two decades, the energy grid will be the lifeline for cleaner energy connecting hundreds, if not thousands, of small and regional renewable energy generators to the grid in real time while maintaining the energy reliability demanded by customers.
Ameren Missouri's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), a 20-year outlook that supports cleaner energy in Missouri, was filed today with the Missouri Public Service Commission, and is consistent with Missouri's Renewable Energy Standard. The IRP, which is filed every three years, examines electric customers' projected long-term energy needs and describes Ameren Missouri's preferred approach to meeting those needs in a cost-effective fashion that maintains system reliability.
"The IRP is developed with the input of a wide variety of stakeholders and is consistent with Ameren's goal of transitioning its energy generation in a responsible fashion to ensure reliability while keeping customer rates affordable," Arora said.
In order to add these resources to its generation portfolio, Ameren Missouri is required to seek certificates of convenience and necessity from the Missouri Public Service Commission for projects located in Missouri and to obtain interconnection agreements so that it can use transmission services of the appropriate Regional Transmission Authority.
More information can be found at AmerenMissouri.com/IRP.
About Ameren Missouri
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. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed under Risk Factors in Ameren's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and elsewhere in this release and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:
- regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, including any changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, and future regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions that change regulatory recovery mechanisms;
- the effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, and energy policies;
- the effects of changes in federal, state, or local tax laws, regulations, interpretations or rates and any challenges to the tax positions we have taken;
- the effects on demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in customer energy efficiency and private generation sources, which generate electricity at the site of consumption and are becoming more cost-competitive;
- the effectiveness of Ameren Missouri's customer energy efficiency programs and the related revenues and performance incentives earned under its Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act plans;
- our ability to align overall spending, both operating and capital, with frameworks established by our regulators in our attempt to earn our allowed return on equity;
- the timing of increasing capital expenditure and operating expense requirements and our ability to recover these costs in a timely manner;
- the cost and availability of fuel, such as ultra-low-sulfur coal, natural gas, and enriched uranium used to produce electricity; the cost and availability of purchased power, zero-emission credits, renewable energy credits, and natural gas for distribution; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities, including our ability to recover the costs for such commodities and our customers' tolerance for the related rate increases;
- disruptions in the delivery of fuel, failure of our fuel suppliers to provide adequate quantities or quality of fuel, or lack of adequate inventories of fuel, including nuclear fuel assemblies from Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC, the Callaway Energy Center's only Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed supplier of such assemblies, which is currently in bankruptcy proceedings;
- the effectiveness of our risk management strategies and our use of financial and derivative instruments;
- the ability to obtain sufficient insurance, including insurance for Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, or in the absence of insurance, the ability to recover uninsured losses from our customers;
- business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, collection of our receivable balances, and demand for our products;
- disruptions of the capital markets, deterioration in our credit metrics, or other events that may have an adverse effect on the cost or availability of capital, including short-term credit and liquidity;
- the actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions;
- the impact of adopting new accounting guidance and the application of appropriate accounting rules and guidance;
- the impact of weather conditions on Ameren Missouri and other natural phenomena on us and our customers, including the impact of system outages;
- the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
- the effects of breakdowns or failures of equipment in the operation of natural gas transmission and distribution systems and storage facilities, such as leaks, explosions, and mechanical problems, and compliance with natural gas safety regulations;
- the effects of our increasing investment in electric transmission projects, our ability to obtain all of the necessary approvals to complete the projects, and the uncertainty as to whether we will achieve our expected returns in a timely manner;
- operation of Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, including planned and unplanned outages, and decommissioning costs;
- the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures;
- the impact of current environmental regulations and new, more stringent, or changing requirements, including those related to carbon dioxide, other emissions and discharges, cooling water intake structures, coal combustion residuals, and energy efficiency, that are enacted over time and that could limit or terminate the operation of certain of Ameren Missouri's energy centers, increase our costs or investment requirements, result in an impairment of our assets, cause us to sell our assets, reduce our customers' demand for electricity or natural gas, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
- the impact of complying with renewable energy portfolio requirements in Missouri;
- labor disputes, work force reductions, future wage and employee benefits costs, including changes in discount rates, mortality tables, and returns on benefit plan assets;
- the inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments;
- the cost and availability of transmission capacity for the energy generated by Ameren Missouri's energy centers or required to satisfy Ameren Missouri's energy sales;
- legal and administrative proceedings;
- the impact of cyber attacks, which could result in the loss of operational control of energy centers and electric and natural gas transmission and distribution systems and/or the loss of data, such as customer data and account information; and
- acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, or other intentionally disruptive acts.
New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.
SOURCE Ameren Missouri