Bringing solar energy to light
As the sun rises each day, so do the opportunities for applying its power to our homes and businesses. Missouri’s high level of solar isolation and low development costs provide great growth potential for the solar industry.
- Missouri has more than 200 sunny days per year.
- Missouri is the 4th most optimal state for solar generation deployment (Optimal Deployment of Solar Index, 2010).
- Missouri’s solar resources exceed that of Germany, which leads the world in solar energy production.
- Missouri has the 6th lowest cost per watt for solar development (Optimal Deployment of Solar Index, 2010).
- Devoting 3% of Missouri’s land to solar farms would provide enough electricity for every household in Missouri.
- Missouri ranked 6th for solar photovoltaic jobs in 2010, and 8th for growth of solar thermal jobs from 2003-2010 (Brookings Clean Economy Jobs Report).
The demand for solar energy will increase in Missouri with the mandatory renewable energy standard. Missouri is one of only 16 states that has a Renewable Portfolio Standard with a provision for solar electricity.
Missouri’s strong solar supply chain and energy savvy workforce is prepared to help meet that need.
A glowing foundation in solar energy
Ameren Missouri installed five solar power systems capable of generating about 100 kilowatts of power at its headquarters building. Three solar technology types — polycrystalline, monocrystalline and thin film — and a tracking system are installed on the rooftop. The goal of the project is to provide a state-of-the-art testing ground to compare various solar technologies, helping Ameren's customers determine which photovoltaic components will best suit their home or business needs. In late 2014, Ameren Missouri began operating its O’Fallon Renewable Energy Center, the largest investor-owned universal solar facility in Missouri with a generation capacity of 5.7 MW and powered by 19,000 solar panels. This solar farm equivalent to the size of 19 football fields produces nearly 8,000 MWh renewable power annually. Ameren Missouri is currently working to construct a 1 MW community solar farm at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company commenced its first utility-scale solar farm in Greenwood, MO in June 2016. This more than 12-acre facility houses 11,500 ground-mounted solar panels and produce 4,700 MWh of green energy each year, enough to power nearly 440 homes.
A number of municipalities have developed solar farms ranging from 1 to 4 MW to serve their environmentally conscious customers. Those municipalities include Columbia, Springfield, Butler, Macon, Trenton, Rolla, Waynesville, Marshall, Independence and Chillicothe.
Missouri Science and Technology University (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, has a "Solar Village," making solar powered homes available for rent to some of its students.
A strong solar energy support system provides education and outreach
Heartland Renewable Energy Society (HRES) (Blue Springs): The purpose of the Heartland Renewable Energy Society is to further develop the use of renewable energy and support renewable energy and related arts, sciences, and technologies. The organization is created to inform the public and institution- al and governmental bodies, and seek to raise the level of public awareness of its purpose. HRES is the Missouri/Kansas chapter of the American Solar Energy Society.
Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association (MOSEIA) (St. Louis): Mission is to strengthen and expand the solar industry in Missouri and establish a sustainable energy future for all Missourians. MOSEIA represents solar industry stakeholders who have the collective power to collaborate on policy and provide professional development to raise industry standards.
Show Me Solar (Eureka): A non-profit educational outreach organization with the mission to educate the general public about the benefits of solar living and to advocate for the increased use of solar energy in the United States.