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Ameren partnering with SEMO to expand renewable energy

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CAPE GIRARDEAU (WSIL) -- Ameren Missouri is teaming up with Southeast Missouri State University to install new solar arrays on its main campus in Cape Girardeau.

The solar installation, along with a similar project at the Maryland Heights Community Center in St. Louis County, is part of Ameren Missouri’s goal to expand renewable energy sources in the region.

“We appreciate that Southeast Missouri State University is partnering with us to use two of its parking lots to double as solar energy generation,” said Russ Burger, southeast division director for Ameren Missouri. “This installation is a valuable project for the community as an opportunity to grow apprenticeships and construction jobs, educational opportunities and clean energy.”

The solar canopies will be placed on the north and south parking lots at Southeast’s Show Me Center. Installing canopy-style panels makes the most of available space at the Show Me Center without compromising any parking and even provides shade and weather protection for the cars parked underneath them.

Construction began Oct. 25 and will work around Show Me Center events to minimize disruption. The solar panels are expected to be in service in July 2022. Together, the 3,500 solar modules will provide 1.2 megawatts of energy, which is enough to power more than 130 homes for a year.

“We are excited to work with Ameren Missouri to bring more renewable energy to southeast Missouri and provide educational opportunities to our students and community about this important topic,” said Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas. “This solar installation is a great addition to our campus sustainability efforts and demonstrates the commitment of the University and our entire Redhawk community has to a greener, cleaner future.”

These solar projects are made possible by Ameren Missouri’s Neighborhood Solar Program, which utilizes existing buildings, parking lots and land for solar energy generation – at no cost to the organization. It also creates local jobs and provides valuable training opportunities for not only the initial installation, but for ongoing maintenance as well.

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Kenzie Dillow joined the team in 2016 as an editor, moved to Producer in 2017 & took over the Digital Content Manager position in 2021. Kenzie graduated from SIUC in 2016 with a degree in Sports Broadcasting and Advertising.

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