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Renewable Choice Program

Partnering to Build a Clean Energy Future

 

The Renewable Choice Program is a new, innovative way to increase renewable energy in the Midwest. It is designed to help eligible customers meet their renewable energy and sustainability goals. Under terms of the program, up to 400 megawatts (MW) of new, renewable energy will be made available for program participants.

Program Basics

The program is designed to provide customers, with an aggregate annual billing demand of 2.5 MW or greater, or governmental entities of any size, the opportunity to purchase renewable energy for their Missouri operations. Residential or Small General Service customers are not eligible for the program and may access renewable energy through Ameren Missouri's Community Solar or Pure Power Programs.
For non-government customers, those currently served under the Large General Service Rate 3 (M), Small Primary Service Rate 4 (M), or Large Primary Service Rate 11 (M) service classification and that have an aggregate electric annual billing demand of at least 2.5 MW may participate. Rate classes are indicated on your monthly energy statement. Governmental entities of any size may participate.
Customers can request up to 100 percent of their energy from the Renewable Choice program. Based on availability, customers have the choice to purchase as little or as much of their energy use through the program as they prefer.
The program will be powered by wind energy developed specifically for program participants. Customers will not have multiple options for sourcing renewable energy under the program.
Ameren Missouri will solicit bids from wind developers to build and/or purchase up to 400 MW of new renewable energy for the program. Ameren Missouri is authorized to own wind facilities for up to 200 MW of that total. The remaining will be filled by power purchase agreements.
The locations of wind facilities used for the program will be in the MISO market, and specifically in Missouri, Iowa or Illinois. The locations will be determined based on the selected wind developers’ bids.
We anticipate high demand for the program based on preliminary discussions across the Ameren Missouri service territory. The current plan is for 400 MW. A second program could be considered if there is enough demand.
Once a project providing wind energy under the program is operational, Ameren Missouri will post to its website AmerenMissouri.com/RenewableChoice, a listing of the customers whose subscriptions support made the project possible. Customers who prefer to remain anonymous may request exclusion from being listed on the website.
If the wholesale market price (WMP) falls below the renewable energy price (RE price) then the customer would pay an adjustment on their bill for the difference between these prices.  If the wholesale market price (WMP) increases above the renewable energy price (RE price) then the customer would receive a credit adjustment on their bill for the difference in these prices.  Participation in this program does present some level of risk or volatility associated with the future wholesale market price of energy.  We suggest consulting with a trusted advisor to make an informed decision about whether to participate.

Contract Questions

Every customer that is interested in participating in the program must have submitted a program interest form (a non-binding commitment) by December 31, 2018. These customers are now being asked to reaffirm their interest by signing a Memorandum of Understanding. This reaffirmation is based on current price range of the Renewable energy and a better understanding of how the program works.

Once the not to exceed pricing has been confirmed, customers who have provided a non-binding commitment will be the first to have the opportunity to review the pricing and participate in the program by signing a service agreement. If there is more interest beyond the 400 MW level, customers will join on a first-come, first-served basis, based upon their return of a signed service agreement in the program. Future programs could be considered if there is enough demand.

The initial contract will be for 15 years, although if sufficient customer interest is expressed in shorter terms, Ameren Missouri will explore the feasibility of entering into agreements with terms of five or 10 years. Shorter term offerings under the program are subject to market availability and pricing.
RECs will be retired by Ameren Missouri on behalf of the customer with the North American Renewables Registry™ (NAR). RECs can also be transferred to the customer's NAR account at the customer's request. In that scenario, the customer may report under any such program that the RECs transferred belong to the customer.
No. A customer with multiple locations is allowed to aggregate the billing demand from multiple accounts to reach the 2.5 MW threshold. The Customers should reference all accounts to enroll on the service agreement. Each account enrolled in the program will receive on its bill a pro-rata share of the monthly charge.
Yes, if your organization meets all eligibility requirements, including an annual billing demand of at least 2.5 MW.
Customers who sign a service agreement can still participate under those terms if the new location is within the Ameren Missouri service territory and continues to meet all eligibility requirements.
Customers may transfer the agreement to another eligible customer within the Ameren Missouri service territory that is not participating in the program or that would like to increase participation in the program. If the agreement cannot be transferred, a termination fee may apply.
The termination fee is based on the last 12 months of charges incurred by the customer under the program. The average monthly charge experienced over that period would be assessed for the number of months remaining in the term of the customer's commitment. For example, if for the last 12 months, a customer had incurred an average charge of $1,000 per month under the program, and 5 years of program term remained at the time of termination, the termination fee would be $60,000. If the prior year resulted in net credits to the customer, the termination fee is zero.
No. You will continue to be responsible for any Renewable Choice Program charges incurred along with the rest of your energy statement.
Any customer who terminates participation in the program must wait 36 months after the first billing cycle following termination to re-enroll.
Should any disputes arise, most will be handled through normal negotiations. Any remaining disagreements may be brought to the Missouri Public Service Commission.

Financial Questions

When a project is identified to meet interested customers' demand, a not-to-exceed price will be published based on the expected costs of that project. Customers will base their commitment decisions on this price, which will allow them the opportunity to evaluate the costs and benefits of participation before committing to the program. When the project is completed, the final price, which will be equal to or lower than the not-to-exceed price, will be calculated, subject to review and approval by the Missouri Public Service Commission, and reflected in tariffs filed with the Commission.
Energy purchased through the Renewable Choice Program will appear as a separate line item on your energy bill. The line item could be a credit or an additional charge, depending upon the market value of the renewable energy.
The company's established rate for energy will still be subject to regulatory rate reviews. Through the Renewable Choice Program, the customer's total bill may rise or fall based on the program's final price and the market value of the renewable energy.
The price of the renewable energy is locked in for the entire contractual term, but the amount shown on a customer's bill will reflect the settlement amount for the renewable energy, plus administrative and other charges. The settlement amount will vary in a given month depending on the market value of the renewable energy. Meaning, customer will pay for the costs for the renewable energy (at the locked in price), which costs are offset by a credit from the sale of the renewable energy in the wholesale energy market (at the market value), resulting in a settlement amount that is either a charge or credit on customer's bill. Since future market prices are unknown, customers choosing to enroll should understand that the overall charge or credit associated with participation in the program may fluctuate over time. Customers should consider their risk tolerance before deciding to enroll.
If there is more demand than supply, customers will join the program in the order in which Ameren Missouri receives signed service agreements. Future programs could be considered if there is enough demand.
Customers who submit a completed program interest form are expressing interest in participation subject to the final terms, primarily price. Once Ameren Missouri communicates final price and other terms to those customers, the program will be activated on a first-come, first-served basis, based upon the receipt of signed service agreements.
As soon as the price is approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission it will be communicated to all customers who have submitted a program interest form. We anticipate this will occur in Q2 or Q3 2020. Ameren Missouri will also post updates on its website AmerenMissouri.com/RenewableChoice.
We will remain in communication with customers who have filled out a program interest form.
No. Ameren Missouri cannot advise customers about future price forecasts. There are a variety of companies as well as academic researchers who specialize in this area. We suggest consulting with a trusted advisor prior to receiving a service agreement in order to make an informed decision about whether to participate.
If the wholesale market price (WMP) falls below the renewable energy price (RE price) then the customer would pay an adjustment on their bill for the difference between these prices.  If the wholesale market price (WMP) increases above the renewable energy price (RE price) then the customer would receive a credit adjustment on their bill for the difference in these prices.  Participation in this program does present some level of risk or volatility associated with the future wholesale market price of energy.  We suggest consulting with a trusted advisor to make an informed decision about whether to participate.
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