Vandalia Renewable Energy Center

Ameren Missouri plans to build and operate a solar energy facility in Audrain County, providing energy to about 10,000 Ameren Missouri customers. Construction on the facility is planned to begin in summer 2024. It is anticipated to begin generating energy in late 2025.


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Bringing Opportunities to Audrain County

The Vandalia Renewable Energy Center is set to become an economic and energy engine for Audrain County. Ameren Missouri and its predecessors have been part of the community for decades, and our track record demonstrates our commitment to Vandalia and Audrain County. Working together with neighbors and others across the county, we can realize the long-term benefits that solar generation can bring to the community.

Energy produced by the Vandalia Renewable Energy Center will be delivered to the immediate area.


Frequently Asked Questions

In general, certain site characteristics are especially attractive for solar development in this region, including land that is cleared and relatively flat, unobstructed south-facing sun access, and a location near existing electrical infrastructure. This all makes construction more affordable and maximizes the potential energy we can harness. Ameren Missouri has owned the land for several years.

Thoughtfully integrating a new, diverse mix of generation sources - including natural gas, wind and solar - while maintaining the availability of our existing energy centers through retirement is essential for a reliable, resilient and affordable clean energy future. Included in the company's long-term generation plan is investment in new on-demand energy sources to ensure the long-term stability of the energy grid.

The 50-megawatt Vandalia Renewable Energy Center will cover approximately 420 acres, including access roads. That's approximately 0.1% of acreage in Audrain County.

The Audrain Renewable Energy Center will be connected to Ameren Missouri's distribution grid, the same one that delivers reliable energy to homes and businesses in the region. All customers, no matter where they live, will benefit from an increase in emissions-free energy on the grid.

We anticipate the facility will take about 15 months to construct. There may be temporary, slight elevations in noise levels during construction. These will be limited to short periods within construction hours. Most of the facility's life is spent in silence. All roads will be returned to pre-construction conditions.

All solar panels will be American made by a manufacturer in Texas.

Yes. Because the solar panel materials are enclosed and do not mix with water or vaporize into the air, there is a little-to-no risk of chemicals being released. All solar facilities are designed to strict electrical safety standards to ensure safe operation.

The solar industry has tested solar modules in a variety of weather conditions common to the Midwest. Panels are designed and constructed to contain their components in the event of a surface crack or break. There are no moving parts on the panels.

Ameren Missouri also takes steps to reduce the already low hazard risks, including fire. These steps include regular monitoring and maintenance of equipment – both on-site visual inspection and through constant remote monitoring – as well as detailed emergency plans and procedures.

Every effort is made to hire workers in the area to build and ultimately maintain the facility, Labor selection is often dependent on available labor skill and local market conditions.

Solar panels are designed to absorb sunlight throughout the day and convert that energy into electrons. At the same time, they're providing shade to areas normally exposed to the sun, cooling the ground under the panels. Air is also circulating underneath the panels, which are slightly raised off the ground. Panels are also set back from the surrounding fencing, which provides a buffer from neighboring properties.

Ameren Missouri will follow a vegetation management plan to care for the land, such as managing weeds. These plans also help increase soil nutrients, stabilize the soil and decrease runoff and erosion.

The typical lifespan for solar panels is 30 years. Replacements are sometimes made, and the components can be recycled, reused in other applications or safely disposed of in accordance with company policy. Once the facility is no longer needed, equipment will be removed and the land can be used for another purpose.

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