Company estimates 6.5 million minutes of customer outages avoided last year
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE:AEE), filed its updated Smart Energy Plan with the Missouri Public Service Commission today. The $9.9 billion investment plan will support reliability of the grid and modernize infrastructure. The company is investing in smart technology, stronger poles, upgraded power lines and other infrastructure to upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce outages and respond faster when they do occur. The Smart Energy Plan also helps prepare the grid to bring on new energy sources such as renewables and includes incentives to attract new businesses.
"We continue to incorporate technology that improves system reliability. Smart Energy Plan investments have prevented an estimated 50,000 customer outages over the last two years. We know that makes a difference for our customers at home and at work," said Mark Birk, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "With the expansion and extension of the Smart Energy Plan, we will be able to provide a more resilient, reliable and sustainable energy system for generations to come."
The Smart Energy Plan provides direct customer benefits by upgrading aging foundational grid infrastructure, including poles, wires, substations, transformers and underground cables. The plan also deploys smart technology to support reliability and resiliency of the electric grid, and smart meters to provide customized energy usage data to customers. Last year, over 6.5 million minutes of customer outages were avoided due to these investments. Smart Energy Plan upgrades through 2022 include:
- 1,178 smart switches to reduce outages from hours to minutes and even seconds.
- 75 new or upgraded substations to better serve communities.
- 170 miles of upgraded power lines, improving storm resiliency and providing more flexibility to reroute power during an outage.
- 772,000 smart meters to provide two-way communication and deliver more precise energy use information to customers.
Ameren Missouri is running a full year ahead of schedule to install smart electric meters across the service territory. Thanks to the data smart meters provide, Ameren Missouri now offers customers a new online Energy Manager interactive dashboard showing the specific estimated energy usage of each appliance. It provides personalized savings recommendations based on individual usage data and surveys. The new meters also identify outages even faster to speed restoration.
Investing in Communities
More than 100,000 Missouri residents are enjoying greater energy reliability thanks to the completion of the Metro South Reliability Project. The project included construction of two new transmission towers on both sides of the Mississippi River. Each tower stands 294 feet tall – roughly the height of the Statue of Liberty – and weighs 500,000 pounds. The project created a second power supply to help prevent outages and increase energy capacity. The rebuilt line supports grid reliability, meets local energy needs and provides access to energy sources, including renewables. This project also enabled a seamless transition for customers when the Meramec Energy Center was retired at the end of 2022.
Downtown St. Louis is also seeing improvements that support reliability. Ameren Missouri recently completed one of its last projects to install new conduit under the streets of downtown St. Louis. The next step is to install new cables through the conduit, which will improve reliability for residents, businesses and visitors for decades to come. This system will be one of the first in the nation to have smart technology in a downtown environment that helps reduce outages for customers.
In Jefferson City, the Idlewood substation was upgraded with automated sensors and smart technology to create a system that more rapidly detects and isolates outages, speeding power restoration. This project supports reliability for over 2,400 customers in the area. Upgraded substations offer greater service reliability for customers to meet their growing energy needs long into the future.
Powering the Local Economy
"The Smart Energy Plan supports a reliable and resilient energy grid while investing in the economic future of Missouri," said Birk. "Construction, engineering, and planning jobs are needed to build each project associated with the Smart Energy Plan. As part of the plan, we are helping companies expand and relocate to the area with our economic development incentives."
Economic development incentives encourage businesses to invest or expand in Missouri, adding jobs and supporting local communities statewide. In 2022, 16 businesses announced plans to move to or expand in our state, thanks in part to these incentives. This has resulted in more than $450 million in capital investment in Missouri by those businesses, and 1,000 additional Missouri jobs. The economic development incentive has helped companies large and small, such as Chick-fil-A Supply and Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery.
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
SOURCE Ameren Missouri