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Ameren joins other utilities in creating habitats to protect at-risk pollinators

Collaborative efforts earn recognition from the Electric Power Research Institute

ST. LOUIS, March 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As pollinator habitats disappear across the country, utilities like Ameren are stepping up to create sanctuaries for bees, beetles, butterflies, bats and birds on their own property.

"Humans and other types of wildlife rely on pollinators to support our food systems, but pollinator habitats, such as open fields, meadows and forests, are shrinking," said Nancy Morgan, manager of permitting and natural resources at Ameren. "As managers of large parcels of land, utilities can be part of the solution for rebuilding pollinator habitats. At Ameren, we're already working to improve our rights-of-way and land we own to support pollinators where possible. We are also funding pollinator-focused research through EPRI."

U.S. utilities own approximately 5 million acres of right-of-way areas and buffer zones around their transmission lines. This land cannot serve any commercial or residential purpose, and large trees cannot grow here because they might interfere with transmission lines. However, these areas are uniquely positioned to host natural flowers, shrubs and other plants that support wildlife, especially pollinators.

This proposed solution to pollinator rehabilitation is covered in detail in the documentary "Power for Pollinators," which earned a 2021 Power Delivery and Utilization (PDU) Technology Transfer Award from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The award spotlights the value of collaborative research to benefit the electricity sector and its customers.

The award-winning team behind the documentary included Ameren environmental scientists Kevin Atkins and Jennifer Porcelli, as well as representatives from the following utilities: Aliant Energy, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., Bonneville Power Administration, Dairyland Power Cooperative, FirstEnergy Corp., Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, NiSource, New York Power Authority, PNM Resources Inc., Salt River Project, Southern Company, and Tennessee Valley Authority.

"Our goal is to reduce, minimize or avoid impacts on biodiversity as we develop infrastructure or conduct operations," said Gwen Mizell, chief sustainability and diversity officer at Ameren. "We're proud to be a founding member of EPRI's Power-in-Pollinator Initiative and continue to look for additional ways to be responsible stewards of natural resources that impact our food supply."

Tips for Supporting Pollinators at Home
You can take steps to help pollinators flourish in your own yard:

  • Plant native flowers that bloom at different times of the year.
  • Diversify your garden with flowers that are different in color, shape and size, which helps attract a wider variety of pollinators.
  • Plant flowers in clumps rather than spaced out.
  • Limit the use of pesticides.
  • Include a bird bath or water feature that provides pollinators with clean water.

Other 2021 Ameren Award Winners
Ameren co-workers were recognized with five additional EPRI Technology Transfer awards. They include:

  • Assessment of Interference to 6 GHz Microwave links from Unlicensed Wi-Fi Devices
    • David Bruemmer
    • Brian Hartman
    • Muhammad Imran Khan
    • Martin Welge
  • Evaluation of Efficient Electrification Opportunities in Buildings, Industry, and Transportation to Improve Customer Cost Effectiveness and Reduce Societal Emissions through State Electrification Assessments
    • Michael Abba
    • Dan Laurent
  • Key Electrification Opportunities Identified in Utility Service Territories Using Novel Application of Electrification Knowledgebase, Analytical Tools, and Robust Method
    • Dan Laurent
  • E1 Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) & Hardening of Substations
    • Justin Davie
  • Steam Generator Management Program Research Support One Time Deferral of Steam Generator Inspections During COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Carissa Richardson

About Ameren Corporation
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric transmission and distribution service and natural gas distribution service. Ameren Missouri provides electric generation, transmission and distribution services, as well as natural gas distribution service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois operates a rate-regulated electric transmission business in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. For more information, visit Ameren.com or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp or LinkedIn.com/company/Ameren.

SOURCE Ameren Corporation

For further information: Ameren Missouri Communications, 314.554.2182, missouricommunications@ameren.com