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Ameren plans five-year grid modernisation programme

Steve Rogerson
August 7, 2018
Actions by Missouri elected officials and regulators have enabled a $167m rate decrease this summer and an accelerated grid modernisation plan over the next five years.
Starting this month, Ameren Missouri customers will see their electric rates decrease by six per cent, thanks to legislation passed by the Missouri General Assembly and action by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC).
And a plan from Ameren Missouri, detailing grid modernisation improvements over the next five years, is expected to be submitted to the PSC in early 2019. The plan will create jobs in the state and modernise the energy delivery system with smart technologies.
Ameren Missouri will also make available up to $28m in solar rebates for customers, starting in 2019. In addition, it will allocate $14m to utility-owned solar by 2023.
The $167m rate cut stems from federal tax reductions passed by the US Congress in December, which required actions from Missouri lawmakers and regulators to expedite these savings to customers. The rate cut is the first benefit customers will receive as part of Ameren Missouri's Smart Energy Plan, made possible by the energy law. Also, as part of the legislation, the lower base electric rates will be frozen until April 2020.
"Under Ameren Missouri's Smart Energy Plan, our customers will experience lower costs right away and greater benefits in the future," said Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri. "The plan will meet our customers' desire for more affordable and stable rates, along with a smarter energy grid that is even more reliable, flexible and secure, all while incorporating new sources of clean energy. On behalf of our customers, we applaud the efforts of Missouri legislators and regulators to recognise the importance of passing and authorising Senate Bill 564, which expedited these rate cuts to millions of customers."
The law is enabling a major grid modernisation plan, which is the cornerstone of Ameren Missouri's Smart Energy Plan.
To drive economic growth, rate incentives were established for companies that expand or build new facilities in Missouri, making it an attractive place to do business and hire workers.
Current base rates have been frozen for customers until April 2020. Rate caps have been established that will control the size of any future increase, making rates more stable and predictable.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and natural gas service for more than 100 years. It has 1.2 million electric and 130,000 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.