Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO second institution chosen for Ameren Solar Program

Monday, November 8, 2021

SEMO is in the process of switching to solar power with Ameren starting construction on solar panel parking lot canopies. The construction has been in the waiting process since SEMO applied to join Ameren’s Neighborhood Solar Program in 2020.

The solar panels will be located in the front parking lot of the Show Me Center, and the structures will be at a height of 13 and a half feet tall. Ameren’s Director of Southeast Missouri Division Russell Berger said the panels are capable of producing a lot of power for the community.

“It's going to be enough to generate 1.2 megawatts of clean energy, which is enough to power around 130 homes,” Berger said.

SEMO was the second institution to be picked to be a part of the solar program. Along with getting clean energy, many other benefits from the program come to Southeast and its community.

Southeast Vice President of Finance Administration Brad Sheriff said it’s great for the patrons because it offers the cars in the parking lot shielding from the elements, and it could also provide new learning opportunities for students.

“Our patrons get some covered parking here at the Show Me Center, and then in terms of students and faculty, the university and Ameren have been talking about how to integrate some educational opportunities with this project,” Sheriff said. “We don't have any real details hammered out yet. The idea is to make this, among other things, a platform for student learning.”

The installation not only affects the SEMO community, but it also has an impact on Cape Girardeau at large.

Vice President of Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce Kim Volker said she’s excited to see the impact of the installation on the city’s economy.

“Those are the types of projects we love to see happening in our community, and obviously, it's impacting our economy, our local economy, when it comes to creating jobs, construction jobs, opportunities for apprenticeship and education opportunities. We're thrilled about that, because those are the things that obviously we as a chamber are working toward,” Volker said.

To find more information about Ameren’s Neighborhood Solar Program, visit their website.