Several southeast Missouri communities will benefit from more reliable electric service during severe weather now that Ameren Missouri has installed new lines designed to protect and strengthen the area's power network.
Ameren Missouri added a static shield wire to deflect lightning strikes from power lines along a nearly 4.7-mile stretch of County Road H, from County Road 439 a few miles south of Braggadocio, Mo. to Route 164 east of Steele, Mo. The roughly $900,000 project, completed in September 2014, strengthens the system while helping to prevent lightning strikes from disabling the electrical network that powers Steele, Cooter, Mo. and Holland, Mo. as well as Braggadocio, said Ken Kietzer, an Ameren Missouri distribution engineer.
"This one circuit feeds all four towns," Kietzer said. “Replacing it will help ensure that our customers have the power they need and expect—irrespective of weather conditions. This project really demonstrates how we’re making significant investments in southeast Missouri and throughout the state to build a more dependable electric system.”
Ameren Missouri also replaced 109 poles and installed spoilers along the east-west section of those lines. Spoilers are lightweight fiberglass devices wrapped around power lines to prevent them from slapping together or "galloping" during icy conditions.
Farther south in the Bootheel, Ameren Missouri has replaced about two miles of power lines along State Highway F in Holland. The new lines, which cost an estimated $300,000, run from Oak Street to County Road 485. They are larger and stronger than the old lines damaged by an ice storm in February 2014, Kietzer said.
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 127,000 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 please visit AmerenMissouri.com or follow Ameren Missouri on Facebook or Twitter.