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Ameren Illinois continuing major upgrades to strengthen region's energy delivery network
$2.3 million in core infrastructure, technology and distribution improvements slated to boost reliability and drive customer satisfaction

Ameren Illinois continues to make electric infrastructure upgrades to improve the reliability and performance of its energy delivery systems throughout Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike and Schuyler counties. The company is investing approximately $2.3 million, and the improvements will be placed into service by the end of 2015.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of $12.5 million in natural gas and electric upgrades Ameren Illinois made throughout the greater Quincy-area since 2013.

“We're excited to implement another step of our long-range plans to fortify the electric delivery system in the greater Quincy area,” said Bruno Stopka, Director of Division II Operations for Ameren Illinois. “The new technology and equipment we're putting in today will help ensure that we can meet the evolving demands of our business and residential customers in the future.”

These local infrastructure projects have been completed or are in progress:

Adams County ­–  

  • Clayton: Upgraded substation equipment inside the Clayton East substation on North 1950th Avenue. Vipers are switching devices that detect problems on the power lines ­­– such as a lightning strike or a fallen tree limb – and work to reduce the number of customers affected by a power outage. Investment: $90,000. Project completed in March.
  • Payson: Upgrading substation equipment inside the Payson South substation on East 1083rd Lane. The new, advanced reclosers can send information to the company’s dispatch offices to assess the health and status of power lines and isolate problems more effectively. Investment: $100,000. Project started in February.
  • Quincy: Adding advanced relay devices to three substations in town. By continuously monitoring the health of the system, the new relays will help to restore electric service more quickly, reducing outage time. Investment: $185,000. Project started in April.
  • Ursa: The company storm hardened a six-mile stretch of power lines in Ursa and set 12 new poles. Investment: $160,000. Project completed in March.


Hancock County –

  • Carthage: The company is storm/line hardening an approximate seven-mile stretch of power lines from Carthage to Adrian. Roughly 20 poles will be installed. Investment: $335,000. Project to start in May.
  • Hamilton: The company is constructing an electric system tie between Hamilton to Warsaw. The tie will provide an alternate pathway to deliver power in the event of an outage and improve service reliability for customers in Warsaw. Project to start in mid-June.
    Ameren Illinois is also adding smart switches inside the Hamilton substation. Investment: $850,000.
  • Nauvoo: Adding Vipers inside the Nauvoo substation on East County Road 2400. Investment: $135,000. Project to start in September.

Pike County –

  • Griggsville: Adding advanced relay devices Griggsville West substation. By continuously monitoring the health of the system, the new relays will help to restore electric service more quickly, reducing outage time. Investment: $70,000. Project started.
  • Pittsfield: Adding advanced relay devices to Pittsfield substations on West Kellogg Street. The advanced relay devices will improve Ameren Illinois’ response to outages and provide valuable information for post-outage evaluations. Investment: $65,000. Project started.
  • Pleasant Hill: Adding Vipers inside the Pleasant Hill substation on Road 300 North. Investment: $140,000. Project to start in May.

Schuyler County –

  • Browning: Added Vipers to two circuits inside the Sheldons Grove substation on Illinois 100. Investment: $215,000. Project completed in April.

Stopka noted that Ameren Illinois field crews and contractors will log more than 8,700 work hours on the projects.

"Since the grid modernization program began in 2012, projects such as the installation of storm-resistant utility poles, outage detection technology, and stronger power lines have resulted in 238,000 fewer electricity service interruptions on average," said Richard J. Mark, President of Ameren Illinois. "Better reliability leads to customer savings."

About Ameren Illinois

Ameren Illinois is investing $3.5 billion over the next five years to build a next generation energy delivery system and create jobs in central and southern Illinois. Ameren Illinois is fortifying utility poles, replacing distribution lines and gas transmission equipment, and installing automated switches and sensors throughout its 43,700 square-mile service territory. Additional improvements include upgrading electric and natural gas meters. Over time, the upgrades will improve service reliability and provide customers with information they can use to take control of their energy usage and costs. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com/focus.