ST. LOUIS (Aug. 30, 2022) – Ameren Missouri has completed more than 300 Smart Energy Plan projects in the first half of 2022. These projects replace or upgrade older infrastructure and support customer reliability by reducing the frequency and duration of power outages when they occur.
When major storms hit on June 17, there were nearly 9,500 customers across the St. Louis area – including a sewage treatment plant – who did not experience extended outages thanks to the installation of smart switches and grid upgrades. These smart switches help isolate damage and reroute power to as many customers as possible while repairs are underway. This can reduce an outage from hours to minutes – sometimes power is back on in seconds.
“Customers want a strong and reliable energy grid. Every Smart Energy Plan project completed strengthens the energy grid,” said Mark Birk, president of Ameren Missouri. “When we have a strong grid, it means the lights come on when you flip the switch. It means customers have the power they need when they need it.”
With the Smart Energy Plan, some older rural substations are being replaced with new, pad-mounted transformers. Along with smart switches, these updates improve electric grid operating flexibility and reliability. This includes the substation in Martinsburg, Missouri, which serves the entire community of 200 customers. This over 50-year-old substation in Audrain County is being upgraded, along with new poles, overhead transformers and related equipment. By installing equipment on both sides of town, customers are expected to experience shorter outage times when storms strike. This project is targeted for completion by the end of the year.
With the additional work available for Ameren partners, jobs are being created to support design and implementation of these projects. For example, LUZCO Technologies, an electrical engineering consulting firm, has grown from two employees in 2018 to more than 50 employees, with work from the Smart Energy Plan. Ameren Missouri is supporting the communities where we live and work with more than half of all Smart Energy Plan funds spent with local companies.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 135,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.