In a couple of years, Missouri cities and corporations could be receiving more electricity from wind power as Ameren Missouri ramps up its wind power facilities.
The utility filed a proposal with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Monday to give its largest customers the opportunity to participate the Renewable Choice Program, which would supply them with electricity from wind power. Ameren Missouri generates 100 megawatts of its electricity supply from wind, but in September, it announced plans to add 700 more megawatts of wind to its portfolio — which is roughly equivalent to serving 200,000 homes.
If plans are approved by state regulators, Ameren hopes to make the program available and have new wind power facilities online by 2020.
"Our customers are looking for choice to meet their sustainability goals. They can procure renewable energy through Ameren as opposed to trying to acquire it themselves," said Ajay Arora, Ameren Missouri's vice president of environmental services and generation resource planning.
The company also announced in September that it aims to cut its 2005 emission levels by 80 percent by the year 2050.
Ameren is negotiating with potential contractors about building a wind generation facility, although the company did not indicate where the facility would be located. Arora said the utility is focusing primarily on wind because of rising customer demand for renewable energy and increasing affordability of wind power.
"Wind technology has improved pretty rapidly and has become highly efficient," Arora said. "So that's really reduced prices for wind energy when combined with federal incentives for the technology."
The state of Missouri also requires all major utilities to generate 15 percent of its energy portfolio from renewable sources by 2021; Ameren Missouri is currently at 5 percent.
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