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Ameren Missouri customers benefit from investments in stronger, smarter grid

Customers avoid more than 31 million minutes of outages in 2023 thanks to stronger poles, automated switching and other grid upgrades

(Editor's Note: See stories about how grid investments are helping Missouri customers and communities in our Smart Energy Plan 2023 Progress Report.)

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), filed its updated Smart Energy Plan with the Missouri Public Service Commission today. The $12.4 billion, five-year investment plan is designed to modernize infrastructure and enhance grid reliability and flexibility.

Ameren Missouri is investing in smart technology, stronger poles, upgraded power lines and other infrastructure to replace aging equipment, reduce outages and respond faster when they do occur. These investments also build and bolster the infrastructure needed to support more clean, renewable energy generation.

"The Smart Energy Plan is working as designed to create a more resilient and reliable grid," said Mark Birk, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "For example, our investments in a smarter, stronger system prevented outages for an estimated 66,000 customers during 2023 when automated smart switches were able to reroute and restore power. Thanks to the expansion and extension of the landmark legislation enabling this plan, additional modernization projects are poised to deliver increased value and reliability to our Missouri customers."

Customer-focused investments

The Smart Energy Plan provides direct customer benefits by enabling Ameren Missouri to upgrade aging foundational grid infrastructure, including poles, wires, substations, transformers and underground cables. Under the plan, Ameren Missouri also deploys smart technology to support reliability and resiliency of the electric grid, and smart meters to provide customized energy usage data to customers for better energy management and savings. 

Smart Energy Plan upgrades through 2023 include:

  • 1,500 additional smart switches on the system to reduce outages from hours to minutes and even seconds.
  • 97 new or upgraded substations to better serve communities across Missouri.
  • 200 miles of upgraded power lines, improving storm resiliency and providing more flexibility to reroute power during an outage.
  • 1.1 million smart meters to provide two-way communication and deliver more precise energy use information to customers.

Ameren Missouri's smart meter installation is a full year ahead of schedule and most customers will have an upgraded meter by early 2025.

Thanks to the data smart meters provide, Ameren Missouri offers customers an interactive online dashboard showing the specific estimated energy usage of each appliance. This Energy Manager provides personalized savings recommendations based on individual usage data and surveys.

Investing in Communities across the state

A new substation is supporting the rapid growth at Lake of the Ozarks. The Four Seasons substation will reduce the existing load at two nearby substations. This Smart Energy Plan investment also includes new wood and composite poles, strategic underground cables, automated sensors, and two-way communication devices. These upgrades will support reliability for more than 2,500 homes and businesses at the lake.

In Horine, crews replaced a 60-year-old substation with a new, larger-capacity substation better equipped to support the growing community. The substation includes two new transformers and four switchgears equipped with smart technology that can respond quickly to outages and reroute power. This investment will improve reliability for customers in Jefferson County and support new residential and commercial developments in neighboring Herculaneum.

In southern Missouri, storm-hardening upgrades are supporting increased reliability for customers in Hayti and Caruthersville. These Smart Energy Plan upgrades include stronger composite poles, new wires, and automated switches. Wires previously crossing above Interstates 55 and 155 have been moved underground. This investment supports greater reliability and increases safety by eliminating the risk of overhead power lines falling across the interstate due to storm damage.

Built in Missouri for Missouri

A new substation in St. Charles County highlights Ameren Missouri's commitment to support local suppliers through the Smart Energy Plan. The substation in Foristell features two transformers made by WEG Transformers USA of Washington, Missouri, and four switchgears manufactured in Fulton, Missouri, by Avail Switchgear Systems.

"Projects such as our new substation in Foristell highlight the true economic impact of the Smart Energy Plan in communities throughout Missouri," said Birk. "Whether it's construction, engineering or planning, every Smart Energy Plan upgrade using in-state suppliers is a reinvestment in the local economy."

In 2023, WEG Transformers USA completed a $10 million expansion in Franklin County. Company leaders cited investments in the Smart Energy Plan as a driving force behind their decision.

Ameren Missouri also works closely with businesses looking to expand or invest in Missouri, adding jobs and supporting communities statewide. In 2023, 15 businesses announced plans to move to or expand in our service territory, resulting in more than $360 million in capital investment by these businesses and creating nearly 700 new Missouri jobs. St. Louis-based Volpi Foods and EquipmentShare in Moberly, Missouri, are among the businesses expanding in the state with assistance from Ameren Missouri.

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 at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.

SOURCE Ameren Missouri

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