Programs

Missouri renewable energy and energy efficiency

The state of Missouri has many renewable energy and energy efficiency programs across a wide range of technology types. Programs in the state are available for residential, commercial, and utility-scale customers.

A history of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Missouri

The state of Missouri's wind market has been growing quickly in recent years. Wind Capital Group in Gentry County developed Missouri's first utility scale wind farm in early 2007. It had a capacity to generate 57 MW of power. Since then, Missouri has seen the construction of several more wind farms, mostly in northwest counties. As of the end of 2018, Missouri has 500 total wind turbines which generate approximately 1,000 MW of power.1

A significant portion of Missouri's energy comes from hydropower as well. The Missouri River currently supports 36 hydropower units via dams along its length. These dams provide about 10 million MWh of energy per year. Missouri is home to the largest roller-compacted concrete dam in North America, namely Ameren's Taum Sauk plant, which was completed in 1963.

Missouri also has tremendous potential for solar power generation. The Optimal Deployment of Solar Index rated Missouri the fourth most optimal state for solar power in 2010. From 2009 through 2012, solar generating capacity in the state of Missouri increased by over 7,000%, from 101 kW to 7.8 MW. The first utility-scale solar electric installation in Missouri, the Butler Solar Energy Farm, was completed in 2013 and generates 3.05 MW of power.

Missouri's Renewable Portfolio Standard

Missouri voters in 2008 approved the Missouri Clean Energy Act, also known as Proposition C, by a ballot initiative. The Missouri Clean Energy Act repealed the voluntary renewable energy and energy efficiency objective that had existed previously and replaced it with a mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Missouri's RPS mandates that investor owned utilities in the state use eligible renewable energy technologies to meet 15% of their yearly retail sales by 2021. Eligible technologies include solar thermal, photovoltaics, wind, biogas from agricultural operations, landfills, small hydropower, biomass, fuel cells using hydrogen from renewable sources, wastewater treatment plants, pyrolysis and thermal depolymerization of waste materials, and other resources as approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.2

Important renewable energy organizations in Missouri

One important organization advancing the future of energy in Missouri is the Missouri Public Service Commission (Missouri PSC). The Missouri PSC regulates investor-owned utilities in the state, and has some control over telecommunication providers as well. The Missouri PSC is led by a board of five commissioners, who are appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. The Missouri PSC works to regulate natural gas, electric, water, steam, and sewer utilities in a way that ensures safe and reliable services to all Missourians.

Another important Missouri organization is the Division of Energy within the Department of Economic Development. The Division of Energy encourages, educates, and assists Missourians to use energy efficient resources efficiently. The Division of energy looks to ensure affordability, diversify and promote security in supply, promote efficiency of use, undertake regulatory improvements, and stimulate innovation and job creation.

Another important organization in Missouri is the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), founded in 2001. With over $29 in gross market energy transactions annually, MISO is one of the largest ISOs in the world. MISO operates across fifteen US states and the Manitoba province in Canada. MISO's cornerstones are operational excellence, effective communication, and customer service. MISO is led by an independent Board of Directors who serve three-year terms and are elected by the members of the organization. Members of the Board of Directors are also required to meet certain qualifications designed to ensure that MISO is led by capable individuals. In Missouri, MISO primarily operates in the eastern part of the state.

Utilities in the state also play a critical role in advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency. The largest utility in the state is Union Electric Company of Missouri, a part of Ameren Corporation which was initially founded in 1902 and currently serves over 1.2 million people. Other major utilities in the state include Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) Greater Missouri Operations Company, Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, White River Valley Electric Cooperative, and Southwest Electric Cooperative. There are also many municipal utilities in the state, the largest of which are the City of Springfield, City of Independence, and City of Columbia.

How to go solar in Missouri

You can install solar panels on your property and benefit directly from solar energy in Missouri. The best way to go solar is to compare multiple quotes - you can join the EnergySage Marketplace for free to begin comparing your options from installation companies near you. Want to start with a little more research? Check out average prices for solar in Missouri, or read through reviews of the best local solar installers in Missouri.

Footnotes

  1. EIA. “Missouri – State Profile and Energy Estimates.” https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=MO. Accessed October 28, 2020.
  2. DSIRE. “Renewable Energy Standard.” https://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/2622. Accessed October 28, 2020.

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