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Where will Ameren build its wind and solar energy farms?

Ameren Missouri’s plans to spend a billion dollars on wind energy could mean a change to the outstate Missouri landscape.

Vice President of Generation Resource Planning Ajay Arora explains the best place to build a sea of wind turbines will have “open land, good wind speeds, next to a transmission line.”

If you’ve driven I-70 west through Kansas, you’ve seen the wind turbines that dot the landscape. Arora says that could become the case in Missouri too, but some could also be built in neighboring states. He says discussions are underway with possible developers.

“It’s premature to talk about exact locations,” he said.

The turbines are expected to be American-made.

As we first reported yesterday (read more), Ameren Missouri hopes to cut its emissions by 80 percent in the coming decades and plans a big push into both wind and solar energy. Part of the plan involves winding down many of its coal -fired power plants like the Meramec in south st. Louis County.

Where they build the solar is more flexible, as long as it has open land and sight of the sun.

“Solars could be on rooftops, could be at customer premises,” Arora said. “We have a couple of partnerships we are trying to connect with our customers to build out the solar.”

Already, Ameren Missouri is building a solar generation facility on the grounds of Lambert Airport that’s expected to be completed next year.