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Missouri utility plans to add 700MW by 2020

UNITED STATES: Local utility Ameren is planning to add at least 700MW of wind power in Missouri and its neighbouring states by 2020, it announced today.

Ameren Missouri aims to cut its 2005 carbon emission levels by 80% by 2050
Ameren Missouri aims to cut its 2005 carbon emission levels by 80% by 2050

The location and cost of the new wind generation is still being negotiated with several developers, the utility said. Projects would likely use American-made turbines, however, the company added.

Ameren Missouri announced the planned boost to its portfolio in its Integrated Resources Plan (IRP), a 20-year outlook for cleaner energy, which it filed with the state’s Public Service Commission.

The utility currently has power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind farms in neighbouring states. It buys power generated at Invenergy’s 81MW Bishop Hill II project in Illinois, and at Avangrid Renewables’ 100MW New Harvest site and at EDP Renovaveis’ 102MW Pioneer Prairie II wind farm, both of which are in Iowa.

Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri, said "significant advancement in technology" had made harnessing wind power cheaper than other forms of new power generation.

Alongside investing approximately $1 billion in wind generation by 2020, the company also plans to add 100MW of solar generation over the next ten years, with half of this capacity expected to come online by 2025.

As well as pushing for renewable energy, Ameren plans to retire more than half of its coal-fired generating capacity in the state — including the Meramec Energy Centre in St Louis County by 2022 — the company said.

Ameren Missouri aims to cut its 2005 carbon emission levels by 80% by 2050 — with 35% emissions reductions by 2030 and a 50% cut by 2040. By 2016, the company had cut carbon emissions by 26% from 2005 levels.

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