Ameren Missouri has begun construction of the O'Fallon Renewable Energy Center with the ceremonial installation of the first solar panel.

The O’Fallon renewable energy center will feature 19,000 solar panels and the project is scheduled to come online by the end of 2014. The O’Fallon renewable energy center brings solar into Ameren Missouri’s energy generation portfolio.

The project will occupy an area approximately the size of 19 football fields. MC Industrial has been selected as general contractor for the investor-owned utility solar facility.

Ameren Missouri chairman, president and CEO Michael Moehn said that the solar energy center the company is starting to build in O’Fallon represents the kind of cleaner energy resource many of the company’s customers have asked it to build to provide them with energy, and it is proud to be taking this historic step to do just that.

"We are working to diversify our mix of generation sources and transition to cleaner and renewable energy sources. Building this solar facility is a critical part of this goal," Moehn added.