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Ameren (AEE) to Add 300 MW Third Wind Facility in Missouri

Zacks Equity Research

Ameren Corporation’s AEE unit — Ameren Missouri — recently announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a third wind generation facility in Missouri. The facility was developed by Tradewind Energy and is expected to be operational in 2020. The facility with a capacity of 300 megawatts (MW) and will be located near the town of Tarkio.

When completed, the project is anticipated to create more than 300 high-quality jobs and power 90,000 homes. The construction of the facility is subject to the approval of Missouri Public Service Commission.This wind power project will be the most advanced unit in the state and have the capability to harness wind more efficiently with fewer turbines.

Steps to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Ameren Missouri is striving to increase generation from cleaner source. The company’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is a 20-year program to promote cleaner energy in Missouri. Ameren aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 from the 2005 base levels. The company intends to offer electricity through cleaner and more diverse sources of energy generation that include solar, wind, natural gas, hydro and nuclear power.

To achieve its goal, Ameren Missouri inked agreements with two developers to acquire two plants with wind generation capacity of 557 MW after construction. Once completed, these facilities will represent about 80% of Ameren’s compliance needs with the state’s requirement of achieving 15% of native load sales from renewable energy sources by 2021. The company plans to invest nearly $1 billion for the two wind generation facilities and expects them to be in service by the end of 2020.

Increasing Wind Generation

The utility sector is currently undergoing a notable transition. Utilities are shifting to renewables through the replacement of coal by natural gas and clean energy. Per an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, all renewable sources of energy that include wind, solar and hydropower will produce 18% of U.S. electricity in 2019 and almost 20% in 2020.

EIA expects that wind generation will surpass hydropower generation for the first time to become the leading source of renewable electricity generation in 2019 and maintain that position in 2020. EIA expects that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will decline by 2.1% in 2019 and by 0.8% in 2020.

Rising awareness regarding emission, federal and state policies as well as declining costs are driving renewable technologies in the United States, particularly in wind and solar. Thus, utilities and corporations are increasingly shifting their focus to renewables. Utility companies like WEC Energy Group, Inc WEC, NiSource NI and Xcel Energy XEL are focusing on renewable sources to add more clean generations in their production portfolios.

 Zacks Rank & Price Movement

Ameren carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

 

Ameren’s stock has gained 32.1% in a year, outperforming the industry’s rise of 14.9%.

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