Ameren Corporation moves up net-zero carbon emissions goal by five years

ST. LOUIS, June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), is announcing an update to its 20-year energy plan to ensure reliability and resiliency for customers for years to come. The updated plan accelerates clean energy additions, reduces carbon emissions even further in the short-term and moves up Ameren Corporation's net-zero carbon emissions goal by five years to 2045.

LONG-TERM ENERGY PLAN FOCUSES ON CLEAN AND RELIABLE ENERGY FOR MISSOURIANS

The need for reliable, resilient and affordable energy has never been greater. Ameren Missouri's updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) addresses meeting those critical needs over the coming decades.

"Our newly updated long-term energy plan accelerates the addition of clean wind and solar energy sources and further reduces emissions by 2030," said Mark Birk, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "By thoughtfully transitioning energy generation sources, we continue to get the energy we provide as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without compromising on reliability, resiliency or affordability for our customers."

Highlights of the updated plan include:

  • Accelerating Ameren's companywide net-zero carbon emissions goal to 2045. This goal now encompasses both Scope 1 and 2 emissions including other greenhouse gas emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride. This goal is dependent on a variety of factors including cost-effective advancements in innovative clean energy technologies as well as constructive federal and state energy and economic policies.
  • Increasing the 2030 carbon emissions reduction target from 50% to 60% based on 2005 levels. Ameren maintains its interim goal of an 85% carbon emissions reduction by 2040. These goals are consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Retiring more than 3,500 MW of fossil-fired generation by 2030, an increase from the 2020 IRP by more than 1,600 MW. By the end of 2030, three of the four Ameren Missouri coal-fired facilities are expected to retire.
  • Adding 2,800 MW of clean wind and solar generation by 2030, an increase of 400 MW from the 2020 IRP, representing a potential investment of approximately $4.3 billion.
  • Adding a total of 4,700 MW of renewable generation by 2040, which reflects a potential investment of approximately $7.5 billion.
  • Deploying 800 MW of battery energy storage, representing a potential investment of approximately $650 million.

"We're building upon our previous commitments to support communities across Missouri by investing billions of dollars in clean energy, creating thousands of jobs and growing our solid base of carbon-free generation," said Ajay Arora, chief renewable development officer at Ameren Missouri. "Our plan relies on a broad mix of resources alongside focused energy efficiency and demand response programs, which further support families and businesses in the state by saving them money on their energy statements."

New technologies are critical to achieving the company's net-zero goal. To maintain energy reliability and resiliency for customers after the retirement of three coal-fired energy centers by the end of 2030, the company plans a 1,200 MW combined-cycle energy center to be in service by 2031. Plans call for this dispatchable resource to be capable of utilizing a portion of hydrogen fuels and the ability to be retrofitted for carbon capture and storage once those technologies become fully mature. The location of the planned energy center has not yet been determined.

"Ensuring reliability and resiliency while continuing to reduce emissions is imperative," Birk said. "A responsible transition, taking advantage of maturing technologies when they're ready, can accomplish both."

The company also plans to continue robust, cost-effective customer energy efficiency and demand response programs with peak demand reduction of more than 1,200 MW by 2030 and cumulative energy savings surpassing 2.5 million megawatt-hours by 2030. That's enough energy to power more than 220,000 homes for a year. Since 2019 and inclusive of preliminary 2021 data, these programs have saved approximately 800,000 megawatt-hours.

The plan is available at AmerenMissouri.com/Clean, along with detailed information about clean energy and energy efficiency programs for residential customers and businesses. In addition to this update, Ameren Missouri anticipates filing its regular, triennial IRP in September 2023.

WHAT EXPERTS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE PLAN

Integral to the IRP process is an ongoing dialogue and information sharing with stakeholders including consumer, environmental and community groups. Leaders from across the region support Ameren's updated plan and its focus on reliability while accelerating renewable energy additions. 

"Southeast Missouri State University is proud to be an Ameren Missouri customer and a partner on the Neighborhood Solar project being constructed on our main campus in Cape Girardeau. This project will bring clean, renewable solar energy to our community, including our university. The solar panels also provide covered parking at the Show Me Center. We are excited and thankful for these benefits which are part of Ameren Missouri's Smart Energy Plan and the company's efforts to bring more green energy to the grid as part of its commitment to a net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2045. This project represents meaningful progress that will impact our students, our state, and our energy future." Dr. Carlos Vargas, President, Southeast Missouri State University

"We rely on energy for so much in our daily lives. We count on reliable electricity to provide lighting, heating and cooling for our homes and businesses; power our many devices; and provide energy to our factories that manufacture products and provide jobs. With so many states announcing the likelihood of summer brownouts or blackouts, it is important that we recognize Ameren Missouri for always providing safe, secure and stable energy for its millions of customers and for bringing more renewable energy into their generation mix as they look to the future." Chris Ventura, Executive Director, Consumer Energy Alliance – Midwest

"The Missouri Chamber recognizes the advantage of reliable, resilient and affordable electricity and natural gas in retaining and attracting business to our state. The Missouri Chamber supports Ameren Missouri's all-of-the-above approach to electricity generation including coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro and renewable sources as they make the transition to clean energy. We also support their grid modernization efforts that drive greater resiliency, rate affordability and economic development opportunities." Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 135,000 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.

Forward-looking Statements

Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, strategies, targets, estimates, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Ameren and Ameren Missouri are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed under Risk Factors in Ameren and Ameren Missouri's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and their other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such "forward-looking" statements. All "forward-looking" statements included in this report are based upon information presently available, and Ameren and Ameren Missouri, except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any "forward-looking" statements to reflect new information or current events.

  • regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, and any changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, that may change regulatory recovery mechanisms, such as those that may result from the impact of a final ruling to be issued by the United States Court for the Eastern District of Missouri regarding its September 2019 remedy order for the Rush Island Energy Center, the Missouri Public Service Commission ("MoPSC") staff review of the planned Rush Island Energy Center retirement;
  • the effect on Ameren Missouri's investment plan and earnings if an extension to use plant-in-service accounting ("PISA") is not sought by Ameren Missouri or approved by the MoPSC;
  • the effect on Ameren Missouri of any customer rate caps pursuant to Ameren Missouri's election to use the PISA, including an extension of use beyond 2023 if requested by Ameren Missouri and approved by the MoPSC under current Missouri law, or beyond 2028 if requested and approved by the MoPSC if Missouri Senate Bill 745 is enacted;
  • the effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, foreign trade, and energy policies;
  • the effects of changes in federal, state, or local tax laws, regulations, interpretations, or rates, and challenges to the tax positions taken by the Ameren Companies, if any, as well as resulting effects on customer rates;
  • the effects on energy prices and demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in customer energy efficiency, electric vehicles, electrification of various industries, energy storage, and private generation sources, which generate electricity at the site of consumption and are becoming more cost-competitive;
  • the effectiveness of Ameren Missouri's customer energy-efficiency programs and the related revenues and performance incentives earned under its Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act programs;
  • our ability to control costs and make substantial investments in our businesses, including our ability to recover costs and investments, and to earn our allowed returns on equity, within frameworks established by our regulators, while maintaining affordability of our services for our customers;
  • the cost and availability of fuel, such as low-sulfur coal, natural gas, and enriched uranium used to produce electricity; the cost and availability of purchased power, zero emission credits, renewable energy credits, emission allowances, and natural gas for distribution; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities and credits;
  • the cost and availability of transmission capacity for the energy generated by Ameren Missouri's energy centers or required to satisfy Ameren Missouri's energy sales;
  • the ability to obtain sufficient insurance, or in the absence of insurance, the ability to timely recover uninsured losses from our customers;
  • the impact of cyberattacks on us or our suppliers, which could, among other things, result in the loss of operational control of energy centers and electric and natural gas transmission and distribution systems and/or the loss of data, such as customer, employee, financial, and operating system information;
  • business and economic conditions, which have been affected by, and will be affected by the length and severity of, the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact of such conditions on interest rates and inflation;
  • disruptions of the capital markets, deterioration in credit metrics of the Ameren Companies, or other events that may have an adverse effect on the cost or availability of capital, including short-term credit and liquidity;
  • the actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions, including any impacts on our credit ratings that may result from the economic conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • the inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments, including as they relate to the construction and acquisition of electric and natural gas utility infrastructure and the ability of counterparties to complete projects, which is dependent upon the availability of necessary materials and equipment, including those obligations that are affected by disruptions in the global supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • the impact of weather conditions and other natural phenomena on us and our customers, including the impact of system outages and the level of wind and solar resources;
  • the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
  • the effects of failures of electric generation, electric and natural gas transmission or distribution, or natural gas storage facilities systems and equipment, which could result in unanticipated liabilities or unplanned outages;
  • the operation of Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, including planned and unplanned outages, as well as the ability to recover costs associated with such outages and the impact of such outages on off-system sales and purchased power, among other things;
  • Ameren Missouri's ability to recover the remaining investment and decommissioning costs associated with the retirement of an energy center, as well as the ability to earn a return on that remaining investment and those decommissioning costs;
  • the impact of current environmental laws and new, more stringent, or changing requirements, including those related to New Source Review and CO2, other emissions and discharges, Illinois emission standards, cooling water intake structures, coal combustion residuals, energy efficiency, and wildlife protection, that could limit or terminate the operation of certain of Ameren Missouri's energy centers, increase our operating costs or investment requirements, result in an impairment of our assets, cause us to sell our assets, reduce our customers' demand for electricity or natural gas, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
  • the impact of complying with renewable energy standards in Missouri and Illinois and with the zero emission standard in Illinois;
  • Ameren Missouri's ability to construct and/or acquire wind, solar, and other renewable energy generation facilities, retire energy centers, and implement new or existing customer energy-efficiency programs, including any such construction, acquisition, retirement, or implementation in connection with its Smart Energy Plan, integrated resource plan, or emissions reduction goals, and to recover its cost of investment, related return, and, in the case of customer energy-efficiency programs, any lost margins in a timely manner, which is affected by the ability to obtain all necessary regulatory and project approvals, including certificates of convenience and necessity from the MoPSC or any other required approvals for the addition of renewable resources;
  • the availability of federal production and investment tax credits related to renewable energy and Ameren Missouri's ability to use such credits; the cost of wind, solar, and other renewable generation and storage technologies; and our ability to obtain timely interconnection agreements with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. or other regional transmission organizations at an acceptable cost for each facility;
  • cost-effective advancements in clean energy technologies, and the impact of constructive federal and state energy and economic policies with respect to those technologies;
  • labor disputes, work force reductions, changes in future wage and employee benefits costs, including those resulting from changes in discount rates, mortality tables, returns on benefit plan assets, and other assumptions;
  • the impact of negative opinions of us or our utility services that our customers, investors, legislators, regulators, or other stakeholders may have or develop, which could result from a variety of factors, including failures in system reliability, failure to implement our investment plans or to protect sensitive customer information, increases in rates, negative media coverage, or concerns about environmental, social and governance practices;
  • the impact of adopting new accounting guidance;
  • the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures;
  • legal and administrative proceedings; and
  • acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, or other intentionally disruptive acts.

New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Ameren and Ameren Missouri undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.

 

 

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