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Ameren Illinois prepared to meet expected increase in electricity demand this summer
System improvements and reliability projects highlighted in annual plan filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission

COLLINSVILLE, Ill., June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With summer just around the corner, Ameren Illinois announced today that it is prepared to meet customers' needs and increased electrical demand during the summer months. The company presented its report before the Illinois Commerce Commission's Electricity Policy Committee this week in Chicago. Among the key highlights, Ameren Illinois reported that is has sufficient generation resources and transmission and distribution capability to provide reliable electric service to its Illinois customers during 2013.

The results of a Summer Operating Study performed by Ameren and a MISO-wide Coordinated Summer Assessment both show the Ameren system is adequate to serve summer loads. Ameren estimates it will need approximately 7,873 megawatts of power to meet customer demand this summer.

"Ameren Illinois customers can be assured that our energy delivery systems are ready to support the increased electrical demands that are typical of a summer in Illinois," said Ron Pate, vice-president, Operations and Technical Services, Ameren Illinois. "The integrity of our system has always been strong, but additional improvements over the next 10 years through our infrastructure modernization program will help ensure it remains safe, reliable, and capable of meeting the needs of our customers now and in the future."

An important piece of Ameren Illinois' service reliability strategy is implementation of the Electric Infrastructure Modernization Act recently passed by the Illinois General Assembly. Under the company's Modernization Action Plan (MAP) Ameren Illinois will invest $643 million over the next 10 years to replace and refurbish underground distribution cables, fortify utility poles, and install new technologies that will quickly detect power outages and enable services to be restored faster. This plan will also create 450 jobs and make Illinois more competitive. Work on many improvement projects are beginning this summer throughout the Ameren Illinois service territory.

Ameren Illinois is also improving performance and customer service by building and upgrading its transmission facilities, maintaining a comprehensive vegetation management program targeted at preventing tree contact related outages, and improving, inspecting and repairing key equipment,  as well as providing improved customer service before, during and after storms. Ameren Illinois also offers a variety of energy efficiency programs like ActOnEnergy® and supports local charities and organizations including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 806,000 natural gas customers in Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com or find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois.

SOURCE Ameren Illinois