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Largest Solar Farm to be Bought by Ameren Despite Delays

Ameren has announced intentions to purchase the company’s largest-ever solar farm, which could be operational in Southern Illinois within the next two years. The move comes as the St. Louis-based power company’s renewable energy expansion has been hampered, at least temporarily, by supply chain concerns and other problems. On a recent earnings call, Marty Lyons,  new CEO, remarked, “As we went through last year, we had hoped by the end of the year to have announced some renewable projects. I would merely say that supply chain issues slowed some of the conversations last autumn and into the winter.”

At the same time, at least one environmental group is wondering whether Ameren renewable energy rollout is moving at the right speed. The new deal between  and Invenergy, based in Chicago, is still subject to closing conditions, including regulatory clearances and the project’s completion. However, once operational, the new solar farm should help Ameren expedite its shift away from coal, which presently accounts for around two-thirds of the company’s power generation.

Over the next two decades, the utility aims to invest billions in renewables while retiring coal units, as part of a commitment to reduce carbon emissions and reach “net zero” by 2050.  existing solar projects pale in comparison to the 150-megawatt installation. Ameren largest solar farm to date will be a six-megawatt project in Montgomery County that will begin operations next month.

The new project is in southeastern Illinois, according to the business, although it won’t say where exactly. The statement prompted concerns about Ameren aspirations to expand its renewable energy portfolio at a rapid rate.  hopes to start operating the Southern Illinois solar project in 2024, according to a news release, but notes that such a timeframe requires “timely regulatory clearances.”

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