CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (Nov. 3, 2021) – Ameren Missouri is teaming up with Southeast Missouri State University to install new solar arrays on its main campus in Cape Girardeau. The solar installation, along with a similar project at the Maryland Heights Community Center in St. Louis County, is part of Ameren Missouri’s goal to expand renewable energy sources in the region.
“We appreciate that Southeast Missouri State University is partnering with us to use two of its parking lots to double as solar energy generation,” said Russ Burger, southeast division director for Ameren Missouri. “This installation is a valuable project for the community as an opportunity to grow apprenticeships and construction jobs, educational opportunities and clean energy.”
The solar canopies will be placed on the north and south parking lots at Southeast’s Show Me Center, located at 1333 N. Sprigg Street. Installing canopy-style panels makes the most of available space at the Show Me Center without compromising any parking and even provides shade and weather protection for the cars parked underneath them.
Construction began Oct. 25 and will work around Show Me Center events to minimize disruption. The solar panels are expected to be in service in July 2022.
Together, the 3,500 solar modules will provide 1.2 megawatts of energy, which is enough to power more than 130 homes for a year.
“We are excited to work with Ameren Missouri to bring more renewable energy to southeast Missouri and provide educational opportunities to our students and community about this important topic,” said Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas. “This solar installation is a great addition to our campus sustainability efforts and demonstrates the commitment of the University and our entire Redhawk community has to a greener, cleaner future.”
In the St. Louis area, Ameren Missouri is partnering with the city of Maryland Heights to add a solar installation at the Maryland Heights Community Center. Construction on the half megawatt installation is set to begin next year with an in-service date of spring 2023. A series of solar canopies will cover a portion of the parking lot. Construction will go in phases during the busy summer season at Aquaport, ensuring plenty of space for all visitors.
"Partnering with Ameren Missouri to bring more clean energy to Maryland Heights is a win for all of us," said Mike Moeller, mayor of Maryland Heights. "We also like the year-round weather protection for visitors and their vehicles."
This will be Ameren Missouri's second renewable energy center located in the city. A few miles away, the Maryland Heights Renewable Energy Center takes landfill gas and turns it into clean energy.
These solar projects are made possible by Ameren Missouri’s Neighborhood Solar Program, which utilizes existing buildings, parking lots and land for solar energy generation – at no cost to the organization. It also creates local jobs and provides valuable training opportunities for not only the initial installation, but for ongoing maintenance as well.
“We are collaborating with institutions throughout all our communities to build more solar energy facilities, which will play an important role in Missouri’s clean energy future," said Patrick Smith, vice president of economic, community and business development at Ameren Missouri. “Adding these solar generation sites builds resiliency in the energy grid for our customers and brings us even closer to our net-zero carbon emissions goal.”
Once complete, there will be three Neighborhood Solar installations across Ameren Missouri's service territory. In summer 2021, the South St. Louis Renewable Energy Center began producing clean energy. It is located at Habitat for Humanity St. Louis.
The Neighborhood Solar Program is part of Ameren Missouri’s larger Smart Energy Plan, which was first launched in 2019 and aims to create cleaner and more energy for its 1.2 million electric customers statewide. Read more about the Smart Energy Plan.
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.