The development of renewable energy sources is bringing three Missouri companies together. Ameren is teaming up with technology company Enginuity and an agri-business called ECAP to try and add biomass fuel, which is developed from organic materials such as wood and crops, into its fuel mix.
State Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce says the effort is good for agriculture and good for Missouri.
“I think it’s an opportunity for Missouri farmers to have an additional revenue opportunity,” says Fordyce. “It’s an opportunity for us to do the right thing from an environmental perspective.”
Fordyce says Ameren also wants to increase the amount of biomass fuel used to generate electricity, which could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“It is critically important that we find new technologies to continue to protect coal-fired power plants, because that’s where we get our power. This is an awesome opportunity,” says Fordyce.
Nancy Heimann with Enginuity says Missouri has a variety of resources that can be used.
“We’ve got farm communities with some that focus on crops and some focus on forestry. We have to be able to use all of that to really bridge our way to a different way of bio power,” says Heimann.
Approximately 180 jobs and a $40-million annual impact in the rural economy are projected to result from the initiative.