Ameren Missouri invests $7.6bn in grid modernisation
March 10, 2020
Ameren Missouri plans to invest $7.6bn in grid modernisation over the next five years, according to an updated Smart Energy Plan filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission.
"We are keeping our customers at the centre of everything we do," said Marty Lyons, president of Ameren Missouri. "The Smart Energy Plan means investment in state-of-the-art technology, equipment and controls to reduce outages and restore power faster when they happen. We've been able to continue our system upgrades and create significant jobs while lowering rates over the last two years."
To continue the transition to a cleaner energy future for everyone, Ameren Missouri expects to acquire two wind facilities this year. Clean solar generation is also part of the plan. This includes modernising the energy grid to add more solar energy and battery storage on the system to boost reliability in rural areas.
Ameren Missouri will install 120,000 smart electric meters this year starting in St Charles. The smart meter rollout will extend to 2025 when all its customers are expected to have been upgraded to smart meters that can provide two-way communications. Customers will have up-to-date information about energy usage about their home or business. This should help them make better-informed decisions about energy use.
Last year, Ameren Missouri completed more than 900 projects across the state to bring smart technology and modern infrastructure to the electric grid. Examples of upgrades across Missouri include 9000 new storm-resilient utility poles, more than 180 smart switches to reduce outages, and 13 new or upgraded substations to serve growing communities and improve reliability.
In St Louis, patients and doctors will now see fewer outages when every minute counts. With three separate projects completed, 10,000 local residents, businesses and hospitals benefit from a state-of-the-art substation, 16.9km of upgraded power lines and 200 stronger utility poles to withstand storms. These upgrades mean better reliability for three critical medical facilities, including a trauma centre and a children's specialty care centre.
In Jefferson City, Ameren Missouri installed an underground electric system in downtown to detect outages and re-route power, taking potential outages at the local courthouse, state offices and police department from hours to seconds. The system has two-way communications with the Ameren Missouri network enabling faster storm restoration.
"Ameren Missouri will continue to invest in smart technology to provide reliable energy for our customers while also bringing them clean, renewable sources of power," said Lyons. "This plan helps customers now and for generations to come."
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years. Its mission is to power the quality of life for its 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.