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Ameren Illinois begins construction on first-ever clean energy facility in East St. Louis

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (March 1, 2022) – Ameren Illinois broke ground today on a $10.2 million solar energy facility in East St. Louis. The 2.5 megawatt East St. Louis Solar Energy Center will produce enough electricity to power 500 homes, while providing an economic boost to the region.  It is the first power generation facility owned and operated by Ameren Illinois in the last 25 years. 

"With this project, we are harnessing opportunity and hope for the future," said Richard J. Mark, Chairman and President, Ameren Illinois. "For too long, communities like East St. Louis have been on the sidelines while others have reaped the rewards. Today, we're planting a seed of renewal that will put East St. Louis at the center of the clean energy revolution."

The facility will be constructed on a 17-acre site on State Street across from East St. Louis Sr. High School. It will be comprised of more than 5,700 solar panels which will harness energy from the sun and feed the energy onto Ameren Illinois' local grid. Area contractors Mason Landscaping, Terra 5 Construction, Guarantee Electrical Company, and Azimuth Energy will be utilizing local labor to build the facility.

"We felt very strongly that doors be opened for local businesses, especially diverse-owned firms and diverse workers, to bring this project to life," said Mark. "Every facet of the construction and operation will be representative of the community where the facility is located."

The East St. Louis Solar Energy Center is a continuation of Ameren Illinois' commitment to building a stronger regional economy. In the last 5 years, the company has invested $86 million in the city of East St. Louis, including renovation of a 29,000 square foot regional operating center, substation upgrades, and numerous smart grid projects to improve reliability.     

"Today's groundbreaking is about more than just another energy project," said Robert Eastern III, Mayor of East St. Louis. "Finally, someone is standing up for us and saying we're deserving of the benefits of an emerging industry and the chance to revitalize the core of our city.  Ameren Illinois has been a long-time partner and corporate citizen. This company does what it says it's going to do."

In addition to the economic benefits to the city, Ameren Illinois is developing a demonstration area within the facility to provide students at East St. Louis School District #189 and other nearby districts with practical instruction on solar generation and renewable energy. The company will develop an educational plan and curriculum to help give students a first-hand view of how renewable energy is produced, while showcasing energy jobs of today and the future.   

City and county officials, lawmakers and union leaders gathered this morning at the construction site along with Ameren Illinois leaders and front line workers.

"This is just the start of many investments in clean energy in St. Clair County. I am thrilled to support this project to deliver a stronger and safer neighborhood and access to economic opportunity" – Mark Kern, Chairman, St. Clair County Board

"Rep Greenwood and I worked on energy policy that supports long-term environmental stewardship and opportunity for underserved communities. Rather than just talk about fairness and equity, we saw to it that diverse company participation and hiring goals are in the law. When you drive by this site, you'll see people like us building this clean energy center. That's the way it should be."  – State Sen. Chris Belt

"I became a legislator to fight to ensure that Black and Brown people in communities, like ours, who have long been overlooked, will no longer be passed over. I am proud that East St. Louis will be at the center of a movement to build a clean energy foundation here in Downstate Illinois" – State Rep. Latoya Greenwood

"Too many clean energy projects have been built by out-of-state contractors who haven't paid prevailing union wages. This project will be built better, stronger, and faster than any other in Illinois because it will be built by local union workers." – State Rep. Jay Hoffman

East St. Louis Solar Energy Center
Economic Impact

Total Construction Cost

$10.2 million

Construction Jobs


Diverse Labor Participation


Annual Property Taxes



The East St. Louis Solar Energy Center is expected to be operational in late 2022 or early 2023.

For more information on Ameren Illinois commitment to clean energy, visit Renewables | Ameren Illinois - Ameren Illinois


About Ameren Illinois 
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers in Illinois. Our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com, find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois or Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois