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Ameren announces new solar facility in Mid-Missouri

Jefferson City, Mo. — Ameren Missouri has announced that it will be acquiring a solar facility in Mid-Missouri, with the plan to bring more renewable energy to Missourians, as well as an influx of 250 construction jobs.

Ameren Missouri is a part of the Ameren corporation and is one of the largest utility companies in the state, with 1.2 million electric customers and 132,000 gas customers.

The project is to be built on the border of Audrain and Ralls county, putting it between Bowling Green and Mexico, Mo.

Ameren’s project is expected to power 40,000 homes and will have the bandwidth to produce 200 megawatts of renewable energy. The project could be producing energy as soon as 2024, according to an Ameren press release.

The project has been named the “Huck Finn Solar Project,” a reference to the titular character of the novel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” A nod to famed Missouri born author, Samuel Clemmons, better known as Mark Twain.

“Developing Huck Finn is good for all of our customers because it provides clean electricity, creates economic opportunity and injects millions of dollars into the community over the life of the project — which will have widespread additional benefits,” said Mark Birk, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri.

The facility will be acquired pursuant to a build-transfer agreement with EDF Renewables, according to an Ameren press release.

EDF Renewables is a subsidiary of the Électricité de France group, better known as EDF Group. The EDF Group is a French multinational electric utility company. EDF Renewables specializes in building and maintaining energy facilities, especially those that utilize wind, solar and marine energy.

The Huck Finn Solar Facility will be the largest of its kind in Missouri upon completion.

Currently, Ameren’s largest solar facility in Missouri is Montgomery Community Solar Center. That facility provides renewable energy to 2,000 residents in Montgomery County and began operating in April.

The panels from the Montgomery Community Solar Center were a first for Ameren. The panels’ tilted design allows them panels to follow the sun’s trajectory through the day, maximizing the amount of energy captured from the sun.

The Montgomery Community Solar Center’s energy bandwidth is 5.7 megawatts of energy, dwarfed by Huck Finn Solar Facility’s projected output of 200 megawatts.

This new solar facility will be a huge step forward for Ameren’s plan to add 2,800 megawatts of renewable energy bandwidth by 2030 and to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

When Huck Finn is completed, it will be Ameren’s ninth solar facility in the state. This includes solar facilities at St. Louis Lambert Airport, another in O’Fallon and one at its headquarters in St. Louis.

If everything goes as plan, Mid-Missourians could be added to list of beneficiaries from this project and could be using solar to power their houses within the next two years.

Featured Image: Ameren Missouri President Mark Birk. Ameren Missouri will be building Missouri’s largest solar energy plant, with a hopeful start date in 2024. (PROVIDED/AMEREN MISSOURI)