Tucked into a general rate increase request that drew most of the attention last week, Ameren Missouri revealed that it planned to close its power plant in St. Louis County within eight years. The decision by the utility’s board followed a study that found running the plant beyond 2022 would require more maintenance and upgrades than it was worth.
While not a definitive date, it was the firmest statement yet the utility has offered on Meramec’s retirement, and environmentalists welcomed it. When Meramec’s last generator went online in 1961, the $137 million power plant (more than $1 billion in today’s dollars) was expected to provide roughly 20 percent of the utility’s power. Now, Meramec is the smallest plant in Ameren’s coal fleet.