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Ameren Missouri has plans to expand its portfolio of solar energy across its service territory in a bid to decarbonise its energy supply and to provide consumers with affordable energy.

The utility is seeking partners for its $14 million Neighborhood Solar programme in which the company has plans to install arrays in parking lots, on roofs and in available open spaces across the State.

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Ameren plans to install 100MW of new solar generation by 2027 as part of their Neighborhood, Community and Solar+Storage programmes. The projects are expected to help the energy provider to 1.2 million electric customers reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 (from 2005 levels).

Ideal partners for the solar programme include non-profit organisations, schools, institutions or other non-residential locations that act as a gathering spot in the community.

Ameren will select partners for the programme looking at factors including solar generation possible, total installation cost, support of the energy grid, neighbourhood benefits, electric vehicle charging opportunities and ties to workforce training and development.

The utility will be responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the solar facilities.

Sites for the construction of the solar facilities will be selected by December with the initial construction expected to be started in early 2020.

Matt Forck, vice president of community, economic development and energy solutions at Ameren Missouri, said: “Ameren Missouri’s Neighborhood Solar programme is about more than generating renewable energy, it’s about impact. We’re measuring that impact in a number of ways, including increased job training, education and investments in renewable energy in the Missouri communities we serve and call home.

“I expect Neighborhood Solar sites will touch all corners of our service territory across the state. It’s another way we’re transitioning to cleaner forms of generation in a responsible fashion.”

The Neighborhood Solar programme is part of Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan