Midwest U.S. utility Ameren plans to reach a net-zero carbon emissions goal in Missouri and Illinois by 2050.
The company’s newly released integrated resource plan calls for an acceleration of the 2017 carbon-reduction pledge. Ameren plans to reduce carbon emissions 50 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2040, compared to 2005 levels.
“Our transformative plan accelerates Ameren’s transition toward cleaner energy and targets net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while meeting our customers’ expectations for safe, reliable and affordable energy,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corp.
Ameren Missouri’s IRP includes investment of nearly $8 billion in renewable energy over the next two decades. By 2030, the company would add 3,100 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation reflecting a combined investment of approximately $4.5 billion. Renewable energy would increase to a total of 5,400 MW by 2040. Ameren Missouri projects the plan will create thousands of new construction jobs. The benefits of these investments extend through the local economy, leading to greater levels of opportunity for many, including diverse suppliers.
Investments are already underway, with the planned acquisition of two Missouri-based wind energy facilities in the next few months for approximately $1.2 billion. “Communities in Missouri are already seeing the benefits of economic expansion driven by the availability, construction and ongoing operation of renewable resources,” said Marty Lyons, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. “Renewable energy, constructed right here in Missouri, is good for the local economy.”
In recognition of changing market economics, as well as consideration for maintaining reliability through the transformation to renewable energy, the company’s plan includes advancing the retirement of two of its coal-fired energy centers. The Sioux Energy Center is now planned to retire in 2028 and the Rush Island Energy Center’s retirement is planned for 2039. More than 75% of the company’s current coal-fired energy generating capacity is expected to retire by 2040, and all coal-fired energy centers are scheduled to retire by 2042. Planned retirements begin in 2022 with the Meramec Energy Center.