LAKE OZARK, Mo. (Jan. 5, 2023) – Ameren Missouri customers and the region’s bird population will both benefit from recent upgrades near the Osage Energy Center. While crews were installing new transmission lines to increase reliability, state-of-the-art flight diverters to prevent collisions between birds and high-voltage lines were installed as well. The work will protect wintering bald eagles as well as other species who live in or migrate through the lake area.
See the drone video of the flight diverter installation
As part of its policy to minimize risks to natural habitats, Ameren Missouri conducts an environmental assessment before initiating any work at or near the Osage Energy Center. The assessment recommended installing flight diverters every 30 feet along the new power lines. Utilizing a specially designed drone, more than 300 highly reflective markers have already been installed on power lines. Each diverter can glow in the dark, offering around-the-clock visibility. Most bird collisions happen in low light conditions.
“Just as anglers enjoy the stretch of the Osage River below the dam, so do birds," said Kurt Rakers, supervising engineer at Ameren Missouri. "These diverters provide protection in all conditions to reduce the possibility of contact with power lines. The reflectors do not restrict the birds from hunting or any other activity."
The efforts at Osage Energy Center are part of Ameren’s companywide program to protect avian populations at transmission and distribution (T&D) facilities. The program was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and includes commitments to:
“We have been intentional about taking protective measures to protect birds throughout our region,” added Randy Hunt, supervising engineer at Ameren Missouri. “Our avian protection programs have resulted in reduced avian-related incidents within our service territory and have become a model for other utilities.”
Ameren’s commitment to operational and conservation efforts are further detailed in the company’s Biodiversity Policy.
About Ameren Missouri
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.