CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO – Southeast Missouri State University’s Show Me Center parking lots are now boasting 3,500 working solar panels harnessing sunlight to generate clean energy. The solar panels just went into operation, thanks to a partnership with Ameren Missouri.
“Just as we are responsible for preparing students for successful futures, we recognize we all have a role to play in creating a sustainable future for our environment,” said Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas. “We saw this project as an opportunity to make the most of our available property to provide more renewable energy to our community. It was also a good opportunity for our students to learn more about sustainable energy and shadow Ameren Missouri professionals as Southeast prepares students for tomorrow’s careers today.”
Construction of the solar canopies began in October 2021 at the Show Me Center’s north and south parking lots. No parking spots were lost due the project, and the panels now provide shade and weather protection for the cars parked underneath them. The project was funded entirely by Ameren Missouri, who also managed the installation.
“Southeast has been a great partner in providing their parking lot for this project, which will provide enough energy to power more than 130 homes for a year,” said Mark Birk, chairman and president at Ameren Missouri. “This marks Ameren Missouri’s sixth solar facility in operation, with many more on the horizon. By bringing this facility online, we’re getting closer to our goal of providing reliable, resilient and affordable energy while achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.”
The University’s solar project is 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 University. It also creates local jobs and provides valuable training opportunities for not only the initial installation, but for ongoing maintenance as well.
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 reliable energy for its 1.2 million electric customers statewide. Read more about the Smart Energy Plan.
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