Ameren Missouri launches $6.3 billion energy grid improvement project

Officials say in the end, it will improve reliability for millions of customers.​

Brian Kelly
February 15, 2019 - 11:01 am

KMOX

Categories: 

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Ameren Missouri has kicked off a five-year, $6.3 billion infrastructure upgrade that it says will transform the energy grid and improve reliability for millions of customers.

Kevin Anders, Ameren's Vice President of Operations and Technical Service, tells KMOX the plan consists of 2,000 projects, including the installation of hundreds of 'smart switches'.

"Those are able to automatically sense where we have damage on a distribution line," he told KMOX's Brian Kelly. "They'll operate to open and isolate the damaged part of the circuit. An adjacent circuit will close and re-energize the undamaged part of the circuit."

Anders says that will reduce a power outage from a couple of hours to a couple of seconds.

Ameren Missouri filed its plan with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Thursday. The highlights include installing 800,000 "smart meters" through 2023 as part of an effort to give customers more control over electrical costs, and a $1 billion expenditure on wind energy in 2020.

The plan also calls for modernizing substations, burying cables, and installing 12,000 new utility poles.

A public meeting on the proposal is March 4 in Jefferson City.

The Associated Press contributed to this story