Ameren targets 5.4GW renewables capacity by 2040 in net zero ambition

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
The utility’s latest integrated resource plan includes its largest expansion of solar and wind generation. Image: Ameren/Twitter.

US utility Ameren will invest nearly US$8 billion to develop renewable energy over the next 20 years as it targets net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 across all operations in Missouri and Illinois.

The move, which represents the company’s largest-ever expansion of solar and wind generation, forms part of Ameren Missouri’s triennial integrated resource plan (IRP), detailing its preferred roadmap to transform its generation portfolio.

The IRP will see Ameren Missouri add 3.1GW of renewable generation by 2030 with an investment of US$4.5 billion, before reaching a total of 5.4GW green energy capacity by 2040. Investments are already underway, with the planned purchase of two Missouri wind energy facilities in the next few months for approximately US$1.2 billion.

Marty Lyons, president of Ameren Missouri, said the blueprint is a step change in renewable energy investments from the company’s IRP presented three years ago. “Our analysis shows that now is the time to capitalise on investment opportunities for the benefit of our customers, the communities where we raise our families and the environment.”

The plan also forecasts the decommissioning of all Ameren’s coal-fired facilities by 2042. The retirements of the Sioux Energy Center and the Rush Island Energy Center coal plants have been brought forward to 2028 and 2039, respectively. The company expects to seek an extension of the operating license for its Callaway nuclear plant beyond 2044.

Ameren said advances in technology and decreasing costs for renewable energy and storage are making it possible to “dramatically reduce carbon emissions”, while keeping energy affordable and reliable. Last year, the company revealed plans for three solar-plus-storage facilities in Missouri with an investment of US$68 million.

Central to Ameren's roadmap is the commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Interim targets include reducing carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and 85% by 2040, based on 2005 levels. The new goals are consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

Ameren CEO Warner Baxter said that achieving net zero will be driven by advancements in carbon-free technologies as well as “constructive federal and state energy and economic policies”.

Confronted with consumer demands for clean energy and the falling cost of renewable generation, Ameren is among the growing list of US utilities that are forging ahead with carbon emission reductions despite a shortfall in policy leadership. According to the Smart Electric Power Alliance, 68% of customer accounts in the US are now served by a utility with a carbon or emission reduction goal.

“Ameren's new net-zero carbon goal for 2050 and the advancement of 2040 and 2030 goals by ten years is huge progress from where the company was just three years ago,” said Ashok Gupta of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “With additional state and federal policy support, even greater emission reductions and economic benefits are possible.”

US utilities targetting expanded renewables portfolios through revised integrated resource plans is the focus of an in-depth feature in the most recent edition of PV Tech Power, published earlier this month. PV Tech Power volume 24 can be purchased via the PV Tech Store, where you can also find details on our subscription options. 

Read Next

September 17, 2021
US utility company Dominion Energy Virginia has proposed 15 new energy projects totalling 1GW of power for the state, which Dominion Energy claimed was the largest group of projects to be submitted to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC)
PV Tech Premium
September 15, 2021
Record-breaking power prices across Europe have turned the spotlight on the role fossil fuel plants play in generating electricity and how the transition to renewables-plus-storage could lower consumer bills.
September 14, 2021
The Senate of Illinois has passed legislation that will commit the US state to reaching 50% renewables by 2040 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.
PV Tech Premium
September 13, 2021
Following the release of the US Department’s Solar Futures Study, Liam Stoker assesses the downstream and upstream trends that must be realised for US solar to fulfil its potential.
September 13, 2021
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will support projects that further lower the cost of renewable generation as part of a new investment strategy aimed at underpinning the transition to net zero emissions.
August 31, 2021
Accelerating deployment of utility-scale solar and wind means much of Australia could have sufficient renewables generation to meet 100% of consumer demand at certain times of the day by 2025, the Australian Energy Market Operator has said.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021