Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois – a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameren Corp. – has begun construction of the Mark Twain Transmission Project, a 96-mile, 345,000-volt transmission line and substation to be built in northeast Missouri that will bolster energy reliability for the region.
ATXI broke ground this past month on the site of the Zachary Substation adjacent to the existing Adair Substation in Adair County, Mo. The new substation will transform high-voltage electricity from the transmission system to lower-voltage electricity, which it supplies to homes and businesses through distribution lines.
“After two years of listening to and collaborating with local communities, we’re delighted to begin construction on the Mark Twain Transmission Project,” said Shawn Schukar, chairman and president of ATXI. “When it’s complete, the project will provide multiple benefits to the people of northeast Missouri and the greater region. These project benefits include economic growth, increased tax revenue, greater energy reliability and improved access to renewable energy sources, such as wind.”
ATXI’s contractor, St. Louis-based L. Keeley Construction, which has done a number of projects in Metro East, is set to build various access points along the transmission corridor from nearby public roadways. Contractors will use these points to access the right of way throughout project construction. Once access points are created, L. Keeley will begin digging and pouring concrete structure foundations.
“With any construction project, our goal is to complete the work as safely and as quickly as possible,” said Chuck Twellmann, ATXI construction supervisor. “As construction moves forward, we’ll continue to work closely with landowners and community members to ensure the building and property-restoration process flows smoothly.”
The route will run through Adair, Knox, Lewis, Marion and Schuyler counties in Missouri. Nearly 100 percent of the transmission line will be co-located on existing rights of way that include Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative’s 161,000-volt line between Palmyra and Kirksville and Ameren Missouri’s 161,000-volt line from Kirksville to the Iowa border.
In January 2018, the Missouri Public Service Commission granted ATXI a certificate of convenience and necessity for the project, which will complete a critical link in the region’s energy infrastructure.
ATXI expects to invest $250 million in the Mark Twain Transmission Project. The anticipated in-service date is December 2019.
PHOTO: ATXI construction supervisor, contractors and Mark Twain Transmission Project engineers review plans for the Zachary Substation as construction crews begin grading at the site in Adair County, Missouri. Pictured left to right are Todd Barnes, Chuck Twellmann, Thomas Kohler, and Randy Venhaus.