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Ameren Illinois Storm Hardening 30-Mile Stretch of Power Grid from Peoria County to Stark County

PEORIA, Ill. (Oct. 23, 2019) – Ameren Illinois has begun implementation of a large-scale project to fortify the electric grid in Peoria and Stark counties.

Work crews are upgrading power poles from Chillicothe to Bradford and from Monica to Toulon.  More than 120 composite fiberglass poles are being erected at strategic points along the 30-mile route to stabilize the lines and prevent poles from falling in high winds. The total project investment is $3.8 million.

"Composite poles are flexible and able to help the entire power line to better withstand the impacts of severe weather," said Brian Brackney, Division Director for Ameren Illinois.  "We anticipate that this enhancement will improve electric service reliability for more than 3,100 customers in Peoria and Stark counties."

Ameren Illinois is also nearing completion of a two-year underground network project in downtown Peoria.  In the spring of 2018, the company began upgrading more than 20 underground transformers with smart switch technology that can detect faults on the system and re-route power from another source in the event of an outage.  The $2 million underground project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"These projects are part of our long-range plan to construct a more robust electric grid to meet our customers growing needs,” Brackney said. “We're excited to bring these enhancements to our customers in Peoria and Stark counties."

The enhancements are part of Ameren Illinois' multi-year initiative to modernize its energy delivery system. Since 2012, the company has implemented hundreds of projects, adding new technology and strengthening poles, wires and distribution equipment.  As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 17 percent and the time of an outage has been reduced by 19 percent.

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. Our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook

For further information: Media contact: Stacey Shangraw 309-677-5073 sstockton-shangraw@ameren.com Brian Bretsch 618-343-8087 bbretsch@ameren.com