Ameren Illinois recently announced that the company is adding advanced technology to enhance the resiliency of the energy delivery system in the Metro East and to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.
Crews are strategically installing six fiberglass power poles along a route south of Belleville to Smithton, east to Freeburg and then south to New Athens. Once the new poles are set, crews will add smart switches, known as IntelliRupters, on those poles. These smart switches can detect problems on the electric system and determine whether power needs to be re-routed from another source. They work in tandem with other outage detection devices to isolate the outage and reduce the length of the disruption while reducing the number of customers who experience an outage. Six smart switches will be added to Ameren Illinois’ subtransmission (69,000-volt) system.
Additional crews have started work in East St. Louis to install eight IntelliRupters to the system. Ameren Illinois plans to install 300 IntelliRupters to the subtransmission grid over the next 10 years.
“The IntelliRupters we are installing in St. Clair County allows us to reroute power when there is a problem, and minimize how many customers are affected by the power outage. It is virtually instantaneous,” said Jason Klein, director of Electric Operations for Ameren Illinois serving St. Clair County. “This upgrade is part of our overall statewide plan to build a more flexible, reliable and resilient grid capable of supporting the delivery of cleaner, greener energy from sources like wind and solar.”