ST. LOUIS, March 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Corporation (AEE) has issued a new report, Building a Cleaner Energy Future, a comprehensive look at the steps the company is taking to meet its obligation to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy in an environmentally responsible manner to its customers and the communities it serves while effectively balancing climate-related risks. The report is available at Ameren.com/Sustainability.
Ameren's strategy for addressing climate risk, which is largely embedded in Ameren Missouri's comprehensive Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), is expected to deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions while effectively managing and balancing key climate risks (including policy, legal, physical, reputational and financial risks) with customer costs and reliability.
Highlights of the report include:
- How Ameren is transitioning its generation fleet to cleaner resources to achieve a goal of an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, as compared to 2005 levels.
- How execution of the IRP is consistent with the 2 degree Celsius goal contemplated by the Paris Agreement.
- How more stringent emission reduction requirements could affect Ameren's plan.
"We are executing a comprehensive and balanced strategy that will meet the long-term energy needs of our customers in a safe, reliable and cost-effective manner, while significantly reducing carbon emissions and managing other key risks," said Warner L. Baxter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corporation. "Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in critical energy infrastructure and foster innovation as we remain focused on building a brighter and cleaner energy future for our customers, the communities we serve and our country."
A key component of the plan is the transition of Ameren Missouri's generation portfolio to cleaner and more diverse sources of generation in a responsible fashion, including the addition of at least 700 megawatts (MW) of new wind generation by 2020 and 100 MW of solar generation by 2027. Ameren Missouri has already entered into agreements to acquire, after construction, two wind generation facilities for 400 MW and up to 157 MW. The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved the acquisition of both facilities. In addition, Ameren Missouri plans to retire its 832 MW fossil-fuel-fired Meramec Energy Center in 2022.
"We are committed to do our part to protect and preserve the environment," said Gwen Mizell, senior director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Ameren. "This report details our robust and thoughtful plan that will deliver results to benefit our customers and other stakeholders for generations."
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric transmission and distribution service and natural gas distribution service. Ameren Missouri provides electric generation, transmission and distribution service, as well as natural gas distribution service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois develops, owns and operates rate-regulated regional electric transmission projects. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp, or LinkedIn.com/company/Ameren.
Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed within Risk Factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, and elsewhere in this release and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:
- regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, and any changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, such as those that may result from an appeal filed by the Missouri Office of Public Counsel in January 2019 in Ameren Missouri's renewable energy standard rate adjustment mechanism case, and future regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions that change regulatory recovery mechanisms;
- the effect of Missouri Senate Bill 564 on Ameren Missouri, including as a result of Ameren Missouri's election to use plant-in-service accounting and the resulting customer rate caps;
- the effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, and energy policies;
- the effects of changes in federal, state, or local tax laws, regulations, interpretations, or rates, amendments or technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), and challenges to the tax positions we have taken;
- the effects on demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in customer energy efficiency, energy storage, and private generation sources, which generate electricity at the site of consumption and are becoming more cost-competitive;
- the effectiveness of Ameren Missouri's customer energy efficiency programs and the related revenues and performance incentives earned under its Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act programs;
- our ability to align overall spending, both operating and capital, with frameworks established by our regulators and to recover these costs in a timely manner in our attempt to earn our allowed returns on equity;
- the cost and availability of fuel, such as ultra-low-sulfur coal, natural gas, and enriched uranium, used to produce electricity; the cost and availability of purchased power, zero emission credits, renewable energy credits, and natural gas for distribution; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities and credits, including our ability to recover the costs for such commodities and credits and our customers' tolerance for any related price increases;
- disruptions in the delivery of fuel, failure of our fuel suppliers to provide adequate quantities or quality of fuel, or lack of adequate inventories of fuel, including nuclear fuel assemblies from the one Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed supplier of Ameren Missouri's Callaway energy center's assemblies;
- the cost and availability of transmission capacity for the energy generated by Ameren Missouri's energy centers or required to satisfy Ameren Missouri's energy sales;
- the effectiveness of our risk management strategies and our use of financial and derivative instruments;
- the ability to obtain sufficient insurance, including insurance for Ameren Missouri's Callaway energy center, or, in the absence of insurance, the ability to recover uninsured losses from our customers;
- the impact of cyberattacks on us or our suppliers, which could, among other things, result in the loss of operational control of energy centers and electric and natural gas transmission and distribution systems and/or the loss of data, such as customer, employee, financial, and operating system information;
- business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, collection of our receivable balances, and demand for our products;
- disruptions of the capital markets, deterioration in our credit metrics, including as a result of the implementation of the TCJA, or other events that may have an adverse effect on the cost or availability of capital, including short-term credit and liquidity;
- the actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions;
- the inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments;
- the impact of weather conditions and other natural phenomena on us and our customers, including the impact of system outages;
- the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
- the effects of breakdowns or failures of equipment in the operation of natural gas transmission and distribution systems and storage facilities, such as leaks, explosions, and mechanical problems, and compliance with natural gas safety regulations;
- the effects of breakdowns or failures of electric generation, transmission, or distribution equipment or facilities, which could result in unanticipated liabilities or unplanned outages;
- the operation of Ameren Missouri's Callaway energy center, including planned and unplanned outages, and decommissioning costs;
- the impact of current environmental laws and new, more stringent, or changing requirements, including those related to carbon dioxide and the proposed repeal and replacement of the Clean Power Plan and potential adoption and implementation of the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, other emissions and discharges, cooling water intake structures, coal combustion residuals, and energy efficiency, that could limit or terminate the operation of certain of Ameren Missouri's energy centers, increase our operating costs or investment requirements, result in an impairment of our assets, cause us to sell our assets, reduce our customers' demand for electricity or natural gas, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
- the impact of complying with renewable energy requirements in Missouri and Illinois and with the zero emission standard in Illinois;
- Ameren Missouri's ability to acquire wind and other renewable generation facilities and recover its cost of investment and related return in a timely manner, which is affected by the ability to obtain all necessary project approvals; the availability of federal production and investment tax credits related to renewable energy and Ameren Missouri's ability to use such credits; the cost of wind and solar generation technologies; and Ameren Missouri's ability to obtain timely interconnection agreements with Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. or other regional transmission organizations, including the costs of such interconnections;
- labor disputes, work force reductions, changes in future wage and employee benefits costs, including those resulting from changes in discount rates, mortality tables, returns on benefit plan assets, and other assumptions;
- the impact of negative opinions of us or our utility services that our customers, legislators, or regulators may have or develop, which could result from a variety of factors, including failures in system reliability, failure to implement our investment plans or to protect sensitive customer information, increases in rates, or negative media coverage;
- the impact of adopting new accounting guidance;
- the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures;
- legal and administrative proceedings; and
- acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, or other intentionally disruptive acts.
New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward looking statements to reflect new information or future events.
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