Energy Storage

Mo. utility files plans to build three solar plus storage facilities

Ameren Missouri on Sept. 2 filed plans with the Missouri Public Service Commission to build three solar plus storage facilities across Missouri.

Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of investor-owned Ameren Corporation, said the installations will be the first-of-their-kind facilities in the state and among only a handful of solar plus storage facilities in the Midwest. The installations are scheduled to be completed next year.

Ameren Missouri is investing approximately $68 million in the facilities as part of the company's Smart Energy Plan and the new facilities are part of the company's plans to add 100 MW of solar generation by 2027.

The proposed solar plus storage facilities will be located in the communities of Green City, Richwoods and Utica, Mo.

Each location is expected to have a 10-megawatt solar facility, making them the three largest investor-owned utility solar installations in the state.

Ameren said that with respect to the size of the storage facilities, they are as follows: Green City and Utica: 2.5 MW with duration of 4 hours; Richwoods: 4 MW with a duration of 4 hours.

The company noted that in the case of a service interruption, each battery will be able to power connected homes for several hours, giving Ameren Missouri repair crews time to fix the service issue without causing an extended outage. Customers will also remain connected to the larger energy grid.

"This solution wasn't available to us just two years ago," said Kevin Anders, vice president of distribution operations and technical services. "Solar and storage technology has made significant strides in the past several years. Prices continue to decline, making them an attractive, affordable option for the communities we serve."

Construction of the solar plus storage facilities is subject to a number of conditions including approval from the PSC.

Public power utilities also pursuing solar plus storage

Several public power utilities are also pursuing solar plus storage projects.

In May, the Virginia public power cities of Danville and Martinsville, along with Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, issued an RFP seeking proposals from developers for stand-alone solar, stand-alone energy storage or a combination of solar and storage.

In March, Colorado Springs Utilities in March said that it was finalizing negotiations and planned to award a contract for 150 megawatts of new solar generation plus a 25-megawatt battery storage system by the end of 2023.

And the City Council for Norfolk, Neb., in April approved an agreement for the state’s largest community solar project with Nebraska Public Power District that will be tied to a battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project expected to be in operation by mid-2020.

In August, Kentucky public power utility Henderson Municipal Power & Light issued its first renewable power supply request for proposals for the purchase of solar photovoltaic energy, capacity, ancillaries, and environmental attributes originating from standalone solar-powered generation or solar plus battery energy storage systems.