MONTGOMERY CITY- Ameren Missouri has received final approval from regulators to build the largest solar facility in company history, in mid-Missouri.

Construction will begin this summer and should be in operation by the end of the year, Matt Forck, Ameren Missouri Vice President, said.

"Consumers that are finding great value in meeting their renewable energy needs through this program," Forck said. "We serve over 2,000 Ameren Missouri customers who suvscribe to receive clean and renewable energy from this program."

The solar plan could benefit the community from different aspects, Forck said.

"Local businesses are impacted by Ameren Missouri’s investments in communities in a number of ways," Forck said. "Those investments include construction workers that show up every day. They are buying lunch and breakfast and dinner, and helping stimulate the economy. Some stay in hotels as their job is cited to help build investments."

The construction of the solar facility will also provide at least 50 jobs according to Ameren. 

Steve Etcher, a Montgomery County Economic Development Consultant, said the renewable energy will bring in tax revenue for the rest of the county and opportunities attract more businesses for the future. 

"Having something like solar and alternative fuels available in Missouri just gives us a better energy blend to make us even more attractive to those businesses looking for a new home," he said. 

Etcher said the county is growing, but not extremely fast. The location of the new solar plant along Interstate 70 could change that. 

"It's just an incredible location because you've got a very significant regional electric substation located nearby to where they could sell that power," he said. "There is an incredible amount of economic opportunities in Montgomery County moving forward as the population continues to move westward out of the St. Louis metropolitan area."

The approval gives Union Electric Company Ameren Missouri a certificate of convenience and necessity, or CCN, to construct, own, operate and maintain a solar generating facility in Montgomery County, near New Florence.

This is the second program resource for Ameren Missouri’s Community Solar Pilot Program. All available subscriptions at Ameren's first Community Solar facility, located near St. Louis Lambert International Airport, were filled quickly. The facility went into service in 2019.

The Montgomery County facility will have approximately 6.16 megawatts of alternating current, single-axis, ground-mounted, tracking photovoltaic panels and associated facilities. The facility will be located on agricultural land currently owned by Ameren Missouri.

Forck said people are encouraged to visit Ameren's website for more information and to subscribe.

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