Ameren launches program to add wind energy customers

Ameren Missouri’s latest program will allow companies and cities across the state to use wind power as a means to produce energy from a renewable source.

The Renewable Choice Program, which was announced Monday, will give certain customers the chance to purchase up to 100 percent of their average energy usage from wind for a 15-year subscription, Ameren said in a release.

Any size city or municipality can enroll, and non-residential customers — businesses and universities — whose highest demand meets 2.5 megawatts are eligible as well. The 2.5 megawatts of demand can come from one location or aggregated across multiple sites, like a campus or a retailer with several locations in Ameren’s service area, the release said.

“This is a partnership with our large customers and cities that provides them choice in how they procure renewable energy to meet their sustainability goals,” Ajay Arora, vice president of environmental services and generation resource planning at Ameren said. “They can essentially partner with Ameren and other like-minded businesses to express interest in a new wind generation that would be developed for the purpose of this program.”

Pricing has yet to be determined, but Arora said the incentives and the path wind energy is on will be rewarding as the years go by.

“The rapid advancement of wind efficiency and also the federal tax incentives have combined to allow wind generation to be one of the most efficient means of meeting renewable energy calls,” Arora said. “It’s a good time to be investing in wind right now, because its the resource of the future.”

The program is part of Ameren’s 20-year plan to transition to cleaner energy sources. The utility service will invest about $1 billion to add at least 700 megawatts of wind generation by 2020. One hundred megawatts of solar energy also will be added in the next 10 years.

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