Ameren Missouri updates plans for state grid future
Ameren Missouri (a subsidiary of Ameren Corp.) is announcing an update to its 20-year energy plan to ensure reliability and resiliency for customers for years to come. The updated plan reportedly "accelerates clean energy additions, reduces carbon emissions even further in the short-term and moves up Ameren Corporation's net-zero carbon emissions goal by five years to 2045," per a June 23 press release from the company's St. Louis offices.
"The need for reliable, resilient and affordable energy has never been greater," reads part of the statement, echoing the concerns of much of America in 2022, as extended periods of heat are testing electrical grids in nearly every part of the country prior to the halfway point of the calendar year. Ameren Missouri's updated "Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)" says it addresses meeting those critical needs for Show-Me State residents over the coming decades. Wind and solar are expected to play a vital role.
"Our newly updated long-term energy plan accelerates the addition of clean wind and solar energy sources and further reduces emissions by 2030," said Mark Birk, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "By thoughtfully transitioning energy generation sources, we continue to get the energy we provide as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without compromising on reliability, resiliency or affordability for our customers."
Highlights of the updated plan include:
Accelerating Ameren's companywide net-zero carbon emissions goal to 2045. This goal now encompasses both Scope 1 and 2 emissions including other greenhouse gas emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride. This goal is dependent on a variety of factors including cost-effective advancements in innovative clean energy technologies as well as constructive federal and state energy and economic policies.
Increasing the 2030 carbon emissions reduction target from 50% to 60% based on 2005 levels. Ameren maintains its interim goal of an 85% carbon emissions reduction by 2040. These goals are consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Retiring more than 3,500 MW of fossil-fired generation by 2030, an increase from the 2020 IRP by more than 1,600 MW. By the end of 2030, three of the four Ameren Missouri coal-fired facilities are expected to retire.
Adding 2,800 MW of clean wind and solar generation by 2030, an increase of 400 MW from the 2020 IRP, representing a potential investment of approximately $4.3 billion.
Adding a total of 4,700 MW of renewable generation by 2040, which reflects a potential investment of approximately $7.5 billion.
Deploying 800 MW of battery energy storage, representing a potential investment of approximately $650 million.
New technologies are critical to achieving the company's net-zero goal. To maintain energy reliability and resiliency for customers after the retirement of three coal-fired energy centers by the end of 2030, the company plans a 1,200 MW combined-cycle energy center to be in service by 2031. Plans call for this dispatchable resource to be capable of utilizing a portion of hydrogen fuels and the ability to be retrofitted for carbon capture and storage once those technologies become fully mature. The location of the planned energy center has not yet been determined.
"Ensuring reliability and resiliency while continuing to reduce emissions is imperative," Birk said. "A responsible transition, taking advantage of maturing technologies when they're ready, can accomplish both."
The company also plans to continue robust, cost-effective customer energy efficiency and demand response programs with peak demand reduction of more than 1,200 MW by 2030 and cumulative energy savings surpassing 2.5 million megawatt-hours by 2030. That's enough energy to power more than 220,000 homes for a year. Since 2019 and inclusive of preliminary 2021 data, these programs have saved approximately 800,000 megawatt-hours.
The plan is available at AmerenMissouri.com/Clean, along with detailed information about clean energy and energy efficiency programs for residential customers and businesses. In addition to this update, Ameren Missouri anticipates filing its regular, triennial IRP in September 2023.