Ameren Gets Into Wind Power

John Davis

ameren.jpgSt. Louis-based AmerenUE, which serves 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000 square mile area of Missouri and Illinois, has announced its first venture into wind energy.

horizonwindenergy.jpgThis Ameren press release says the Midwest power giant will buy 100 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Horizon Wind Energy’s Rail Splitter Wind Farm located near Delavan, Illinois, honoring Ameren’s promise to add 100 megawatts of renewable capacity to serve its Missouri customers by 2010:

“This is an exciting day for AmerenUE,” says AmerenUE President and CEO Tom Voss. “It is our first venture into wind development. We will be looking for additional opportunities as we increase the amount of renewable resources in our generating portfolio. This is a significant first step toward further diversifying our fuel mix and demonstrating our commitment to environmental stewardship.”

(Thursday’s) announcement is a culmination of a thorough, year-long review of proposals UE sought earlier this year. AmerenUE intends to sign a 20-year purchased power agreement (PPA) for the wind farm’s output. The PPA has not yet been signed, and terms are still subject to negotiation. Once the agreement is signed, construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2008, with the project completed by the end of 2008. Sixty seven turbines will be located on the site, with each turbine capable of generating 1.5 megawatts of electricity.

Horizon is owned by Portuguese utility Energias de Portugal, S.A. (EDP), which produces more than 1,700 mgawatts of renewable power In Spain, Portugal, and France with another 3,000 megawatts worldwide due to come on line by the end of next year.