From Illinois Business Journal news services
COLLINSVILLE – Ameren Illinois says it’s prepared to meet expected increases in the demand for electricity this summer.
In a recent presentation to the Illinois Commerce Commission, company officials outlined steps taken to improve reliability and increase the capacity of its electric delivery system.
The results of a Summer Operating Study performed by Ameren and a MISO-wide Coordinated Summer Assessment both show the Ameren Illinois system is adequate to serve summer loads. Ameren Illinois estimates it will need approximately 7,524 megawatts of power to meet customer demand.
“Ameren Illinois has verified that sufficient generation resources are committed to serve the Illinois load. In addition, transmission and distribution capability are adequate to provide reliable electric service to our Illinois customers during 2015,” said Ron Pate, senior vice-president, Operations and Technical Service, Ameren Illinois.
Ameren Illinois has made several significant investments to bolster its transmission assets in Illinois. The company owns and maintains nearly 4,600 circuit miles of transmission (138 kilovolt (kV) through 345 kV) and 175 substations.
Notable Ameren Illinois transmission projects include:
• 138 kV Bondville-S.W. Campus Line – Ameren Illinois recently completed construction of a new 138 kV electrical transmission line connecting the Bondville Route 10 and Southwest Campus substations in the company’s Champaign service area. This project helps reinforce the existing system and improve reliability by reducing the potential for cascading outages and low voltage in the Champaign area that can be associated with transmission failure.
• 345 kV Brokaw-South Bloomington Line – Ameren Illinois is in the final stages of completing a new 345 kV transmission line between the Brokaw and South Bloomington substations. In addition, modifications will be made at the two substations. The new transmission line is needed to support the Bloomington regional area in the event a power outage occurs during peak demand conditions. Furthermore, the new transmission line will provide a more robust local area of electrical supply, increase system capacity and ensure continued safe, reliable service to customers within the Bloomington region.
• Cahokia 345 kV ring bus – Ameren also completed a major upgrade at its 345 kV substation in Cahokia. This upgrade, which includes the addition of several extra-high voltage circuit breakers, will improve the reliability of the bulk electric system in the metro-east area. The project also includes a new supply terminal for the 345 kV Cahokia-Turkey Hill line, which was upgraded from a 138 kV transmission line to a 345 kV transmission line to increase supply capabilities to the Belleville area.
“The investments we’re making in transmission and distribution will enable us to better withstand even the toughest tests to our system, while allowing us to increase capacity for future growth,” said Pate.
Ameren Illinois is also improving performance and customer service by building and upgrading its electric distribution facilities, maintaining a comprehensive vegetation management program targeted at preventing tree contact-related outages, and improving, inspecting and repairing key equipment, as well as providing improved customer service before, during and after storms. Ameren Illinois also offers a variety of energy efficiency programs like ActOnEnergy and supports local charities and organizations including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Warm Neighbors Cool Friends.