- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 23, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Ameren Missouri said Wednesday that it bought its first wind farm and plans to make a “transformational advancement” into renewable energy.

The subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corp. said it closed on its acquisition of the High Prairie Renewable Energy Center in Adair and Schuyler counties, in rural northeastern Missouri. The company said the 400-megawatt project is the first of two planned investments in Missouri wind power generation.

“This is just the beginning, as Ameren Missouri lays the foundation for a transformational advancement toward more renewable wind and solar generation in the coming years, cutting carbon emissions and driving job creation and economic growth,” Ameren CEO and President Marty Lyons said in a news release. He said expanding wind energy “helps us move toward our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Ameren recently released plans to invest about $4.5 billion in renewable energy by 2030. In addition to the northeastern Missouri project, the company also plans to purchase a 300 megawatt energy center in Atchison County, in northwest Missouri. Ameren didn’t say how much it paid for the High Prairie purchase, but it said it will spend a total of $1.2 billion on it and the Atchison County energy center.

Ameren first announced plans for the northeastern Missouri project in 2018. The center, which was built by an affiliate of Terra-Gen LLC, includes 175 450-foot-tall wind turbines. Ameren Missouri said it is expected to produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 120,000 homes in 2021.

“These turbines use some of the latest technology that harnesses more wind at an affordable price,” Ajay Arora, Ameren Missouri’s chief renewable development officer, said in the news release.

Carolyn Chrisman, executive director of Kirksville Regional Economic Development, said that in addition to providing sustainable energy, the High Prairie center “is helping to grow the economy of our region” through construction jobs as well as permanent jobs.

Ameren Missouri serves 1.2 million electricity customers and 132,000 natural gas customers in eastern and central Missouri.

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