Smart Grid Observer

Smart Grid Observer

Ameren Missouri Applies to Build Three Solar + Storage Facilities Across Missouri

Source: Smart Grid Observer

Innovative approach pairs Missouri's first utility-scale battery installations with three large solar energy centers to boost reliability

September 4, 2019 -- Recently (9/3), Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation, filed plans with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MoPSC) to build three Solar + Storage facilities across Missouri. These new installations are designed to 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.

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Also of Interest from SGO: 

10th Microgrid Global Innovation Forum, September 9-11, 2019, London

6th Demand Response & DER World Forum, October 16-17, 2019, San Diego

3rd CyberSecurity International Symposium, November 4-5, 2019, Chicago

4th Smart Cities International Symposium, January 21-23, 2020, Chicago