Ameren Missouri and Burns & McDonnell Break Ground on 6.5-Megawatt, 12,200-Panel Community Solar Project in East-Central Missouri
Ameren Missouri and Burns & McDonnell Break Ground on 6.5-Megawatt, 12,200-Panel Community Solar Project in East-Central Missouri
06/24/2021 2 minute read

NEW FLORENCE, Missouri — To continue powering Ameren Missouri’s transformational renewable generation plans, the utility and Burns & McDonnell have broken ground on a 6.5-megawatt (MW) solar array in Montgomery County — Ameren Missouri’s largest solar installation to date. The facility, which will ultimately feature 12,204 solar panels, is projected to generate 12,000 megawatt hours per year, the equivalent of the total energy needs for nearly 1,100 homes.

In close partnership with Ameren Missouri, the multi-discipline Burns & McDonnell team is executing engineer, procurement, construction (EPC), commissioning and testing for the groundbreaking renewable development project — self-performing all construction from start to finish. The Montgomery County installation will meet increased customer interest in Ameren Missouri's Community Solar Program, and also provide room for further expansion.

“Substantial increases in renewable energy generation are at the core of Ameren's commitment to clean and reliable energy as well as our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” says Ajay Arora, chief renewable development officer at Ameren Missouri. “We appreciate the technical excellence of Burns & McDonnell to expand our solar generation capacity for the benefit of our customers and communities across the state of Missouri.”

The Montgomery County array, targeted for completion in December 2021, will be several times larger than Ameren Missouri’s first community solar installation near St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which began operation in 2019 and provides 1 MW of capacity.

“This new solar installation, the largest in Ameren Missouri history, is one of many projects we're supporting to deliver more clean energy while maintaining the reliability and affordability utility customers have come to expect,” says Breck Washam, senior vice president and general manager of St. Louis offices, Burns & McDonnell. “We are proud to continue our successful track record of partnering with Ameren to identify and implement the solutions communities across this great state depend on every day.”  

Burns & McDonnell and Ameren have been working together for decades, partnering on innovative solutions to support the utility and its customers and communities in the Midwest.

“With an integrated design and construction approach, our team is prepared to provide the services and knowledge needed to efficiently take this project from inception to completion,” says Chad Cotter, regional Construction/Design-Build Group manager and director of solar EPC operations for Burns & McDonnell. “This project is an exciting expansion into the world of solar, paving the way for future carbon emission reduction with significant steps in the customer-centric renewable generation space.”

The companies also partnered on the O’Fallon Renewable Energy Center— Ameren Missouri’s first investment in solar energy production that spans 22 acres and features more than 18,000 solar panels in O’Fallon, Missouri. At the time of its completion in 2014, the facility was the largest investor-owned utility scale solar facility in Missouri.

Burns & McDonnell, with experienced professionals who have help develop some of the largest solar generation projects in North America, uses an integrated solar design and construction team to optimize project delivery to meet specific project requirements — maximizing energy yield and capacity while minimizing levelized cost of energy and capital expenditure. Using an integrated engineer-procure-construct (EPC) approach, the firm has the team needed to keep projects on budget and on schedule.

Burns & McDonnell ranks No. 1 in Power, is the No. 2 design firm in the Midwest, and is the top design firm in Missouri and Kansas, according to Engineering News-Record.

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 7,600 engineers, construction professionals, architects, planners, technologists and scientists to design and build our critical infrastructure. With an integrated construction and design mindset, we offer full-service capabilities with more than 60 offices globally. Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned. Learn how we are designed to build.

About Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 134,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area.