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Ameren says work strengthens energy delivery network

amerencolumbiaAmeren Illinois is building a new, $3.7 million substation on Illinois Route 158 to improve electric service for residential and small business customers in and around Monroe County.

COLUMBIA – As part of a multi-year plan to build a next generation energy delivery system and create jobs in central and southern Illinois, Ameren Illinois has announced plans to invest approximately $3.7 million to improve electric service for residential and small business customers in and around Monroe County.

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The announcement comes on the heels of $970,000 in natural gas upgrades Ameren Illinois made last summer in Columbia. The company replaced the Columbia natural gas delivery station and upgraded pressure protection equipment to assure system reliability.

Ameren Illinois is building a new substation near Illinois Route 158 in Columbia. A distribution substation reduces voltage levels so power can be delivered safely to customers. This substation is needed to add capacity to meet increasing customer load growth, reinforce the existing electric system in Columbia and New Hanover, Millstadt, and increase reliability.

Ameren Illinois is installing “vipers” inside the new substation in Columbia. The technology detects problems on power lines – such as a lightning strike or a fallen tree limb – and works to reduce the number of customers affected by a power outage.

In addition, the company plans to set 15 poles to connect the new Route 158 substation to an existing substation in Columbia as well as Millstadt and Hanover. The new substation should be in service by mid-summer.

In Hecker, the company will install new automation technology inside a substation on Illinois Route 156.
This technology will increase customer reliability by providing dispatch offices with real-time data on
system performance and tools to monitor and respond quickly to service interruptions. Investment:

“We’re excited to implement another step of our long-range plans to fortify the electric delivery system in
Monroe County,” said Eric Kozak, director of Division VI Operations for Ameren Illinois. “The new technology
and equipment we’re putting in today will help ensure that we can meet the evolving demands of our
business and residential customers in the future.”

“Throughout Illinois, our customers are beginning to realize the benefits of a more modern grid,” said Richard
J. Mark, president of Ameren Illinois. “Projects like these in Columbia and Hecker are improving service
reliability, while creating jobs and stimulating the local economies.”

Since 2012, Ameren Illinois has implemented hundreds of system reliability projects by adding new
technology and fortifying the energy grid. As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 20
percent, saving Ameren Illinois customers an estimated $44 million a year. The utility has added more
than 800 employees, and more than 1,200 Illinois-based contract workers who are supporting Ameren
Illinois projects.

About Ameren Illinois

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 812,000 natural gas customers in Downstate Illinois. Its service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. 

The above story was provided by Ameren Illinois news services.


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