New renewable energy planned for Atchison County
ST. LOUIS, March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Missouri's second planned wind facility in the state is one step closer to producing renewable energy. This morning, the Missouri Public Service Commission voted unanimously to grant Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (AEE), a certificate of convenience and necessity to acquire, after construction, an up to 157-megawatt (MW) wind facility to be located in Atchison County.
"Expanding renewable energy in Missouri is an important part of our strategy which, alongside our Smart Energy Plan, will modernize the energy grid and enhance how our customers receive and consume energy," said Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri. "Today's announcement brings us even closer to adding at least 700 MW of wind energy by 2020."
Several milestones remain for the northwest Missouri facility, including obtaining a timely and acceptable Midcontinent Independent System Operator transmission interconnection agreement. The Atchison County facility, along with the previously-announced 400 MW facility under development in northeast Missouri represent an approximately $1 billion investment and are expected to be in service by the end of 2020. These planned additions in renewable energy will help Ameren Missouri achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
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;
• 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;
• 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 ability to obtain sufficient insurance, 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 construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
• 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;
• 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.