ST. LOUIS (May 7, 2021) – Missouri communities will have increased access to clean energy thanks to the installation of Ameren Missouri solar panels at new locations across the state as part of its Neighborhood Solar program. The first location selected is at the Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis Headquarters and ReStore, where solar panel canopies are under construction in the organization's parking lot. Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis is offering the use of the space so the energy produced there can benefit all Ameren Missouri customers. Other locations are in development across the state.
“In addition to supporting our mission of providing affordable housing, our ReStore is also dedicated to lessening our impact on the environment, and we see growing solar energy generation at our store as another way that we can contribute to a more sustainable environment and further our mission,” said Kimberly McKinney, CEO at Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis.
The newly named South St. Louis Renewable Energy Center is scheduled to begin producing clean energy in August.
The project also brought jobs to the area. There were more than 50 construction workers engaged with the project. Ameren Missouri, Habitat for Humanity and project partners, Aschinger Electric and Azimuth Energy, worked together to ensure inclusive workforce development and education opportunities. On this project, Aschinger Electric and IBEW Local 1 hired a pre-apprentice electrician from a pool of candidates recommended by Habitat for Humanity.
"Developing a diverse, inclusive workforce is part of our DNA," said Emily Martin, president and CEO at Aschinger Electric. "The experiences on a job site can't be recreated in the classroom or a virtual environment, and is a fundamental part of our apprenticeship program. It’s exciting to provide this career opportunity in the growing green energy industry.”
Solar Generation Growing Across Missouri
Ameren Missouri’s Neighborhood Solar program helps organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and other nonresidential customers, host solar generation in parking lots, open land and rooftops. These large open areas are a perfect location for solar panels, which are installed at no cost to the hosting organization.
“We’re excited to collaborate with organizations throughout our community to bring more renewable energy to all of our customers and jobs to neighborhoods that need them," said Matt Forck, vice president of community, economic development and energy solutions at Ameren Missouri. “Expanding solar generation with projects such as these will help transform the energy grid with more clean energy and contribute toward Ameren Missouri's goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
A second Neighborhood Solar installation at Southeast Missouri State University is in the design stages. That location is expected to be in service by early next year. Its construction will also include inclusive workforce development and education opportunities.
The Neighborhood Solar program is part of Ameren Missouri's $8.4 billion Smart Energy Plan, which includes investments for clean, reliable and resilient energy. It also includes installation of more than one million new smart meters, more renewable and clean generation, and infrastructure upgrades that bolster reliability while working to grow and keep jobs in Missouri.
About Aschinger Electric
Aschinger Electric is among the region’s largest electrical contractors and among the largest women-owned businesses, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. It is also one of the nation’s Top 600 Specialty Contractors, according to the industry trade publication, Engineering News Record (ENR). Aschinger was founded in 1940 in St. Louis and is in its fourth generation of family leadership in the electrical contracting business. For more information, visit Aschinger.com.
About Azimuth Energy
Azimuth Energy is an engineering, construction (EPC), and development-support services company focused on the implementation of solar energy, advanced technology microgrids, and energy efficiency integration. Azimuth is a licensed Engineering Corporation and has built over 500 solar-energy projects since 2008, with over 100 of those in partnership with Aschinger Electric. For more information, visit azimuth.energy.
About Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis
Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL) is a not-for-profit, ecumenical housing ministry working in partnership with individuals and communities of all faiths to improve housing conditions and provide safe, decent and affordable housing in St. Louis City and County. With more than 400 homes already built or rehabbed, HFHSL is one of the leading housing developers in St. Louis. HFHSL regularly ranks among the top Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the country. HFHSL donors, volunteers and partner families work side-by-side to build or rehab homes ensuring that every deserving family in St. Louis has a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis: Building Homes, Building Hope, Building St. Louis. For more information, visit Habitatstl.org.
About Ameren Missouri
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 132,000 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.