Missouri’s Move To Renewable Energy

The current population of the state of Missouri is approximately 6.15 million people. In May 2019, state utilities used coal (76.6%), natural gas (10.6%), renewable energy (7.0%) and nuclear (5.8%) to generate electricity. Wind and hydropower are the primary sources of renewable energy in Missouri.

Although Missouri is heavily dependent on coal, state legislators are concerned about climate change. In 2015, the state implemented financial incentive programs to increase the investment in renewable energy such as wind and solar. Missouri now mandates that investor-owned utilities generate 15% of their annual electricity sales from renewable energy sources.

Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI) has signed a power purchase agreement with the 236.5 MW White Cloud wind farm. AECI is an electric generation and transmission cooperative, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.

The White Cloud wind farm is located in Nodaway County, approximately 90 miles north of Kansas City. Construction has begun on the White Cloud wind farm, which is scheduled to begin operation by year-end 2020.

Investor owned utility, Ameren Corporation plans to build three solar plus storage projects. Each location will have a 10 MW solar facility with a battery storage system. The proposed solar plus storage projects are scheduled to be completed by year end 2020, subject to approval from the Missouri Public Service Commission.

Ameren, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri was formed in 1997 with the merger of Union Electric Company and Central Illinois Public Service Company. The company provides electric services to 1.4 million customers in Missouri and Illinois.

Missouri has been slow to move from coal to renewable energy, compared to neighboring states like Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa. Although Missouri residents are increasingly concerned about climate change, it is the ever-increasing cost of coal that is driving state utilities to move to clean, low-cost wind and solar energy.

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