New Projects, Renewables, Wind

Ameren ceases plans for 157-MW wind farm in Missouri

Ameren Missouri says it still embraces wind energy, but is backing out of a plan to develop one of the major projects in its territory.

The unit of Ameren Corp. announced that it mutually agreed with developer EDF Renewables Inc. to terminate the project of up to 157 MW of wind energy capacity in Atchison County. A company leader said significant upgrades to the transmission system would be required, leading to unacceptably high costs.

“While we’re focused on incorporating more renewable energy, we also have to be good financial stewards for our customers, who trust us to provide safe, reliable energy while keeping rates stable and predictable,” said Michael Moehn, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri, in a statement. “While it is disappointing we will not be moving forward with this project, we remain focused on seeing our other, larger projects through to the finish line.”

The utility added that it remains committed to clean energy, including owning at least 700 NW of new wind generation by the end of 2020. Those projects include the potentially 400 MW facility in Adair and Schuyler counties, as well as another 300 MW farm in Atchison County, the last of which still needs regulatory approval.

Just two months ago, Ameren Missouri announced plans for the 300 MW wind farm, which will be generated by close to 160 turbines. Overall, the three projects announced by the utility in the past year would cost close to $1.4 billion, according to reports. No estimates were given on the abandoned project.

The St. Louis-based Ameren has 1.2 million electric customers in eastern and central Missouri.