ST. LOUIS — Ameren Missouri, a power and energy company based in St. Louis, has selected MC Industrial Inc. to construct the largest investor-owned solar energy center in the state of Missouri. The firm will manage the design and construction of the O’Fallon Renewable Energy Center, which will be located in O’Fallon, Mo.
Construction is set to begin this April with plans for completion in December 2014. The renewable energy center will feature 19,000 solar panels and will have the capability to generate 5.7 MW, which can power 650 average homes in the region. The center will be built on a 19-acre site adjacent to Ameren Missouri’s Belleau substation in St. Charles County.
"We are building the largest investor-owned solar energy center in Missouri history because Ameren Missouri is committed to powering the quality of life for our customers with cleaner energy derived from a diverse mix of energy sources, including renewables," said Warner Baxter, president and CEO of Ameren Missouri, in a statement.
The new renewable energy center will be one solution to meet the long-term energy needs of Ameren Missouri customers, Baxter said. In 2010, Ameren installed approximately 100 kW of solar photovoltaic technologies on the roof of its headquarters in order to acquire performance data. The information gathered from this project has helped educate customers considering solar installation, according to the company.
“Thanks to this research, we were able to verify the effectiveness of the technological and operational aspects of a solar project, which helped to make this new project possible,” said Bill Barbieri, director of renewable strategy policy and generation for Ameren Missouri, in a statement. “The O’Fallon solar farm will allow us to expand our expertise with a utility-scale facility.”
The project will also give a boost to the local economy as it is expected to generate 50 to 70 construction jobs. MC Industrial has hired Burns & McDonnell, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., to assist with engineering work and will also partner with the southwest division of McCarthy Building Companies Inc. on the project.
“We envision this project as a partnership between MC Industrial, Ameren Missouri and the St. Louis area building trades,” said Chad Cotter, vice president of operations with MC Industrial, in a statement. “We are excited to have the opportunity to use our solar construction expertise locally to increase renewable power generation options in the St. Louis region.”