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Ameren (AEE) Acquires 300 MW Wind Project in Northwest Missouri

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Ameren Corporation's (AEE - Free Report) subsidiary, Ameren Missouri, recently acquired its second wind energy center, a 300-megawatt (MW) project located in northwest Missouri. Currently, approximately 100 MW are in-service, with an additional 50 MW-75 MW expected by the end of March, while the remaining 125-150 MW are expected to be operational later this year.

The new Atchison Renewable Energy Center along with the 400-MW High Prairie Renewable Energy Center that Ameren Missouri began operating in December 2020 will add around 700 MW of in-state wind generation to the grid and enable Ameren Missouri to expand clean energy in the state.

Ameren’s Latest Clean Energy Plan

Ameren has committed to becoming a net-zero carbon emission company by 2050 and formulated a plan to achieve the target.  The company’s initial target is to lower carbon emissions by 50% and 85% by 2030 and 2040, respectively, from 2005 levels. It finally aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Its emission reduction target is in sync with the objectives set in the Paris Agreement that are aimed to control the global temperature rise caused by emissions.

Ameren plans to achieve the above goal by investing $4.5 billion by 2030, including investing in the Atchison and High Prairie renewable energy centers, which will add 3,100 MW of solar and wind power generation to its portfolio. In addition to making acquisitions and setting up new clean energy-based power projects, it is shutting down coal-fired electricity generating units. Ameren aims to retire 75% of coal-based generation units by 2039 and retire all coal-based units by 2042.

Utilities’ Adoption of Renewable Energy

To mitigate the deadly effects of climate change in the United States, utilities are increasingly adopting renewable energy sources to produce electricity, with wind and solar energies gaining popularity, in particular. The latest announcement made by Ameren is a bright example of that.

Per the latest forecast made by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity generation from renewable energy sources is expected to rise from 20% in 2020 to 21% in 2021 and 23% in 2022, primarily driven by projected additions to the wind and solar generating capacities.

Notably, like Ameren, other utilities are also steadily progressing toward a carbon-free environment to make most of the growing renewable energy opportunities. For instance, Xcel Energy (XEL - Free Report) aims to achieve 80% carbon reduction by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

In September 2020, Duke Energy (DUK - Free Report) announced an updated climate strategy with a new goal of net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. Likewise, DTE Energy (DTE - Free Report) also intends to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in its electric company by 2050.

Price Performance & Zacks Rank

Ameren’s shares have lost 6.6% in the past year compared with the industry’s 9.2% decline.

The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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