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Ameren Illinois Unveils Three-Year Power Grid Upgrade Plan for Aledo and Seaton

Following a recent briefing with City of Aledo officials, Ameren Illinois announced today that it will launch a three-year plan to enhance the electric grid and improve service reliability between Aledo and Seaton. The three-year project will involve upgrading equipment in substations, fortifying existing power lines, and installing new outage detection technology.
 

  • 2017 Projects
    Ameren Illinois will upgrade a transformer inside the Aledo substation to handle future customer demand. The work is scheduled to start in the first quarter of the year. In addition, the company will increase the capacity of a major power line that serves customers on the west side of Aledo as well as create a backup feed for customers in both Aledo and Seaton. The added capacity is similar to expanding a two-lane highway to a four-lane highway. Nearly 1,300 customers will benefit from these enhancements.
     
  • 2018 Projects
    Ameren Illinois will upgrade the remaining 4kV power lines by converting sections to 12kV. Approximately 500 customers will benefit from this enhancement.
     
  • 2019 Projects
    Ameren Illinois will replace the remaining 4kV transformer inside the Aledo substation with a 12kV unit. When completed, the City of Aledo will have three 12kV feeders on two new transformers, with feeder ties to Seaton and to Viola. These ties will provide alternate pathways to deliver power in the event of an outage and improve service reliability for customers in Aledo, Seaton and Viola, which will benefit all customers in the three communities.


Completing the three-year project, devices known as IntelliRupters, will be installed on the new 12kV power lines in 2019. IntelliRupters act to sense the condition of the electric system and determine appropriate switching actions to reduce the number of customers affected by an outage. They work in tandem with other outage detection devices to isolate the outage and reduce the length of the disruption. Switching enables Ameren Illinois to re-route power from another circuit.

It is expected that these enhancements, and other routine maintenance upgrades, will improve overall service reliability and reduce the frequency and duration of power outages in the Aledo, Viola and Seaton areas.

“These projects are critical to our long-range plans to fortify the electric delivery system and improve overall reliability,” said Daetta Jones, division director for Ameren Illinois serving Aledo and Mercer County. “The grid is evolving and we're excited to bring these upgrades to our customers in the region."

Since 2012, Ameren Illinois has implemented hundreds of system reliability projects throughout central and southern Illinois. As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 17 percent, saving Ameren Illinois customers an estimated $48 million a year. The energy company has added more than 800 employees, and more than 1,200 Illinois-based contract workers who are supporting Ameren Illinois projects.

 

About Ameren Illinois 

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles and our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.

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