ST. LOUIS (Nov. 25, 2019) – The largest solar installation in St. Louis is now sending renewable energy onto the grid. BJC HealthCare partnered with Ameren Missouri on the first project under the energy company's Solar Partnership program to create a solar energy generation facility on top of the 3,000-space, BJC employee parking garage on Duncan Avenue near the Cortex District in midtown St. Louis.
Construction began in January 2019, and the solar facility began generating 1.8 megawatts of clean energy earlier this fall. More than 4,500 solar panels cover the area equivalent of two football fields.
"This innovative program is the first of its kind in St. Louis, and it's a win for everyone," said Michael Moehn, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "Our customers win through more renewable energy on the grid. BJC HealthCare wins by turning uncovered garage space into something productive, and Ameren Missouri wins by expanding our commitment to clean, renewable energy."
”We are pleased to join Ameren Missouri in leading the way in the St. Louis community on this renewable energy program,” said Rich Liekweg, BJC HealthCare president and CEO. “While BJC is known for innovation in health care, we also seek to partner with others in ways that promise progress for our region. We hope we are just the first of many organizations to join Ameren Missouri's Solar Partnership program in creating renewable energy across the state.”
The eight-story BJC garage offered a prime location for solar energy generation because of its unobstructed exposure to the sky. In addition to generating 1.8 megawatts of energy, the structure supporting the solar panels provides shade for the cars on the top level of the garage.
The Solar Partnership program is a collaborative partnership where BJC HealthCare licenses its property to Ameren Missouri to install equipment to generate solar energy. Ameren Missouri owns and operates the facility.
BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. BJC serves the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities and includes 15 hospitals and multiple community health locations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice. BJC’s nationally recognized academic hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, are affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.
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.