One of the largest electric utilities in Illinois and Missouri has officially launched a large-scale solar initiative. Ameren Corporation will begin by installing solar panels at two sites, one at the headquarters in St Louis and one at an existing Ameren Illinois Utilities facility. But these systems will be small potatoes in comparison to the plans Ameren has in mind if the first phase of planning and design produces viable large-scale solar projects, and if these pilot projects show promise, according to the press release. Designs for projects will be completed by April, and phase one installation should be complete by fall 2010.
Recently, two states have taken greater steps towards energy independence by taking stronger action than has been federally mandated. Most states already have programs in place, and some states offer quite strong incentives for residential and commercial entities to adopt renewable energy technologies (Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona...). It's good to see these two, previously among the more laggardly states, joining rank.