ST. LOUIS, Sept. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), filed plans with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MoPSC) to build three Solar + Storage facilities across Missouri. These new, innovative installations would improve customer reliability and enable access to solar energy around the clock. Each location will connect a large solar energy generation facility to battery storage. The installations will be the first-of-their-kind facilities in the state and among only a handful of Solar + Storage facilities in the Midwest.
"At Ameren Missouri, we're leading the region with this technology. These non-traditional solutions are expected to benefit customers by increasing reliability, growing the amount of renewable energy generation on the grid, and investing in the communities we call home," said Michael Moehn, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "Innovative projects such as Solar + Storage are moving Missouri forward with smart energy."
Ameren Missouri is investing approximately $68 million in these Solar + Storage facilities as part of the company'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. The Solar + Storage installations are scheduled to be completed next year.
How it Works
The proposed Solar + Storage facilities will be located in the communities of Green City, Richwoods and Utica and are expected to bring increased reliability to customers. Building renewable facilities in these communities is cost-effective due to their particular locations.
Each location is expected to have a 10 megawatt (MW) solar facility, making them the three largest investor-owned utility solar installations in the state. During sunny days, customers near the proposed facilities will receive their energy primarily from the solar facility. The solar energy will also charge the battery. In the case of a service interruption, each battery will be able to power connected homes for several hours, giving Ameren Missouri repair crews time to fix the service issue without causing an extended outage. Customers will also remain connected to the larger energy grid.
"This solution wasn't available to us just two years ago," said Kevin Anders, vice president of distribution operations and technical services. "Solar and storage technology has made significant strides in the past several years. Prices continue to decline, making them an attractive, affordable option for the communities we serve."
Ameren Missouri is taking action on its commitment to transition to cleaner forms of energy in a responsible fashion. The new Solar + Storage facilities are part of the company's plans to add 100 MW of solar generation by 2027. Today's announcement comes soon after Ameren Missouri's first Community Solar installation, near St. Louis Lambert International Airport, began serving customers.
"Incorporating several types of renewable energy, and now energy storage, will help us achieve our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050," Moehn said.
Customers can learn about more ways to support cleaner energy here. Construction of the Solar + Storage facilities is subject to a number of conditions including approval from the MoPSC.
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 on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
Forward Looking Statements
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 our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, 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, and any changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, such as those that may result from Ameren Missouri's electric regulatory rate review filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission ("MoPSC") in July 2019, an appeal filed by the Missouri Office of Public Counsel in January 2019 in Ameren Missouri's renewable energy standard rate adjustment mechanism case, and future regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions that change regulatory recovery mechanisms;
- the effect of Missouri Senate Bill 564 on Ameren Missouri, customer rate caps pursuant to Ameren Missouri's election to use plant-in-service accounting;
- 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, amendments or technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2019 ("TCJA"), and challenges to our tax positions, if any;
- the effects on demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in customer energy efficiency, energy storage, 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 programs;
- our ability to align overall spending, both operating and capital, with frameworks established by our regulators and to recover these costs in a timely manner in our attempt to earn our allowed returns on equity;
- the cost and availability of purchased power, zero emission credits and renewable energy credits; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities and credits, including our ability to recover the costs for such commodities and credits and our customers' tolerance for any related price increases;
- the effectiveness of our risk management strategies and our use of financial and derivative instruments;
- the impact of cyberattacks on us or our suppliers, which could, among other things, result in the loss of operational control of energy centers and electric transmission and distribution systems and/or the loss of data, such as customer, employee, financial, and operating system information;
- 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, including as a result of the implementation of the TCJA, 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 inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments;
- the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
- the impact of current environmental laws and new, more stringent, or changing requirements, including those related to carbon dioxide and the adoption and implementation of the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, other emissions and discharges, cooling water intake structures, coal combustion residuals, and energy efficiency, that could limit or terminate the operation of certain of Ameren Missouri's energy centers, increase our operating costs or investment requirements, result in an impairment of our assets, cause us to sell our assets, reduce our customers' demand for electricity, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
- the impact of complying with renewable energy requirements in Missouri;
- Ameren Missouri's ability to acquire wind and other renewable energy generation facilities and recover its cost of investment and related return in a timely manner, which is affected by the ability to obtain all necessary project approvals; the availability of federal production and investment tax credits related to renewable energy and Ameren Missouri's ability to use such credits; the cost of wind and solar generation technologies; and Ameren Missouri's ability to obtain timely interconnection agreements with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator or other regional transmission organizations, at an acceptable cost for each facility;
- labor disputes, work force reductions, changes in future wage and employee benefits costs, including those resulting from changes in discount rates, mortality tables, returns on benefit plan assets, and other assumptions;
- the impact of negative opinions of us or our utility services that our customers, legislators, or regulators may have or develop, which could result from a variety of factors, including failures in system reliability, failure to implement our investment plans or to protect sensitive customer information, increases in rates, or negative media coverage;
- the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures;
- legal and administrative proceedings; 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.
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SOURCE Ameren Missouri