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Ameren Illinois making progress on initiatives to strengthen region's energy delivery network



Aug 8, 2014

A recently completed project to fortify the underground power system in downtown Peoria is part of $6.6 million in infrastructure upgrades Ameren Illinois is making to improve the reliability and performance of its energy delivery system throughout the Tri-County area.

'Upgrading and implementing new technology to improve service reliability is a central component of our plan to upgrade the grid,' said Chad Cloninger, Director of Division I operations for Ameren Illinois. 'In addition to our ongoing system maintenance work, we're investing additional resources in Peoria County and throughout central and southern Illinois to improve service reliability for our customers.'

These local infrastructure projects have been completed or are in progress:

Peoria ­-

  • New distribution tie: The company upgraded an overhead line between Alta and Allen. The tie will provide alternate pathways to deliver power in the event of an outage.
  • Investment: $110,000. Project completed.
  • Smart switching in Northwest Peoria: Six IntelliRupters were installed. These automated and remotely controllable switching devices can sense the condition of the electric system and determine appropriate switching actions to reduce the number of customers affected by an outage. It works as a team with other switching devices to isolate the outage and reduce the length of outages.
  • Investment: $586,000. Project completed.
  • Install Viper reclosers at 5 different substations: Substation reclosers, or Vipers, are switching devices that detect problems on the power lines ­­- such as a lightning strike or a fallen tree limb - and work to reduce the number of customers affected by a power outage. The new, advanced reclosers can send information to the company's dispatch offices to assess the health and status of power lines and isolate problems more effectively.
  • Investment: $616,000. Projects underway.
  • Underground cable improvements around Peoria: Ameren Illinois used a process to rejuvenate the underground cable's insulation and extend its life-cycle.
  • Investment: $700,000. Project completed.
  • Update Pioneer substation: Installing new equipment inside Pioneer substation located on West Pioneer Parkway. The new equipment replaces old equipment and will help avoid potential outages.
  • Investment $512,000. Project underway and to be completed by December.
  • Brimfield - Ameren Illinois is upgrading substation equipment inside the Brimfield Substation located on W. Shissler Road. The new equipment will improve service reliability by providing information to Ameren Illinois Distribution Control Operations about the substation and detecting and isolating a problem on the power line.
  • Investment: $105,000. Project completed.
  • Chillicothe - Ameren Illinois upgraded more than 2.5 miles of underground power cable along North Deer Bluffs Road to improve service reliability.
  • Investment: $390,000. Project completed.
  • East Peoria ­- Ameren Illinois is working on four projects in town.
  • 2 new distribution ties. The first tie will be between Elm Grove Substation and Sheridan Substation and will start in September. The second tie in town will be in place between Springbay Substation and Fondulac Substation and will start in August. Both ties will provide an alternate pathway to deliver power in the event of an outage and improve service reliability for customers.
  • Upgrading substation equipment inside the Fondulac Substation located on Route 116 and Fauber Lane. Vipers are switching devices that detect problems on the power lines ­­- such as a lightning strike or a fallen tree limb - and work to reduce the number of customers affected by a power outage. The new, advanced reclosers can send information to the company's dispatch offices to assess the health and status of power lines and isolate problems more effectively. Project underway.
  • Adding advanced relay devices to substations. The advanced relay devices will improve Ameren Illinois' response to outages and provide valuable information for post-outage evaluations. By continuously monitoring the health of the system, the new relays will help to restore electric service more quickly, reducing outage time. Project completed.

East Peoria investment $775,000.

  • Eureka - Ameren Illinois is upgrading substation equipment inside the Eureka Substation located on N. Main Street. The new equipment will improve service reliability by providing information to Ameren Illinois Distribution Control Operations about the substation and detecting and isolating a problem on the power line.
  • Investment $200,000. Project completed in May.
  • Goodfield - Ameren Illinois is building a new distribution substation in rural Goodfield to replace an existing one. The substation will improve service realibility and meet the needs of customers in Goodfield and Congerville. A distribution substation reduces voltage levels so electricity can be delivered safely to area homes and businesses. It also will create alternate pathways with other substations to re-route power and deliver power if an outage occurs.
  • Investment: $2 million. Project completed.
  • Metamora - Ameren Illinois is working on three projects in town.
  • Install 3 Vipers at two substations. Vipers are switching devices that detect problems on the power lines ­­- such as a lightning strike or a fallen tree limb - and work to reduce the number of customers affected by a power outage. The new, advanced reclosers can send information to the company's dispatch offices to assess the health and status of power lines and isolate problems more effectively. Projects to start in October.
  • Smart switching. Three IntelliRupters have been installed in town and are fully operational. These automated and remotely controllable switching devices can sense the condition of the electric system and determine appropriate switching actions to reduce the number of customers affected by an outage. It works as a team with other switching devices to isolate the outage and reduce the length of outages.
  • Metamora investment: $625,000.

Cloninger noted that Ameren Illinois field crews and contractors will log more than 9,000 work hours on the projects in the greater Peoria area.

'We're looking ahead to what our customers' energy needs will be in the future and preparing for those needs today,' said Richard J. Mark, President and CEO of Ameren Illinois. 'These projects are not only strengthening the grid, but they are adding jobs and providing a boost to local economies.'

Ameren Illinois is investing $3.5 billion over the next five years to build a next generation energy delivery system and create jobs in central and southern Illinois. Ameren Illinois is fortifying utility poles, installing intelligent switches and sensors, replacing distribution and natural gas transmission equipment, and installing advanced meters throughout its 43,700-square-mile territory. The upgrades will improve service reliability and provide customers with information they can use to take control of their energy usage and costs. From the beginning of 2012 until March 31, 2014, Ameren has hired 730 Illinois-based employees. Factoring in natural attrition, this hiring has resulted in a net increase of 452 employees supporting Ameren Illinois electric and natural gas service operations. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com/focus.

For more information :

Organization:
Ameren Illinois
Address:
P.O. Box 66893
St. Louis, Missouri
United States, 63166-6893
www.ameren.com


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