Community Solar Subscription Services Among Utility’s Net-Zero Emissions Plan

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Missouri’s local power company, Ameren, is pushing for net zero-carbon emissions by 2050. Among the many plans it hopes to implement are community solar subscription services that will benefit residents and the environment. The total cost of the utility’s long-term plan is upwards of $8 billion, which will be dedicated primarily to clean, renewable energy and the accelerated closure of several coal plants.

To achieve its net-zero goal, Ameren Missouri is going to focus on innovative technologies that step away from carbon. Community solar subscription services and programs have been popping up across the United States as a viable and cost-effective means of helping reduce a state’s carbon footprint. By filtering solar energy to customers and, in turn, providing them with a utility bill credit, community solar projects increase the appeal of renewables.

In its plan for net-zero, Ameren Missouri is expecting to generate 1.2-gigawatts of solar energy by 2030. The bulk of this will come from community solar programs, which it has already started making moves on. The utility company has initiated proposals to call for bids to develop community solar programs.

Many of its ideas were laid out in the 15-year integrated resource plan. The IRP hopes to add a total of 3.1-gigawatts of renewable energy – both solar and wind – to its portfolio by 2030. In another decade, it hopes to increase that by 2.3-gigawatts. The generation of clean energy will help reduce its carbon emissions by 85% by 2040. A previous plan had estimated a reduction in carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

When it comes to coal and natural gas, Ameren Missouri has plans to shut locations. As part of the 15-year IRP, coal plant shutters have been moved up, such as the Sioux Energy Center, which is scheduled for closing by 2028. Rush Island, Meramec Energy Center, and two units of Labadie Energy Center will all shut their doors by 2039. All other coal plants will be closed by 2042.


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