Warming temperatures and rising humidity signify summer is quickly approaching. As customers begin to turn to their air-conditioning units in search of relief, Ameren Illinois is preparing for the expected increases in the demand for electricity this summer. In a presentation to the Illinois Commerce Commission at its annual policy meeting on summer preparedness, company officials outlined the steps it has taken to improve reliability and increase the capacity of its electric delivery system.
The results of a Summer Operating Study performed by Ameren and a MISO-wide Coordinated Summer Assessment both show the Ameren Illinois system is adequate to serve summer loads. Ameren Illinois estimates it will need approximately 7,746 megawatts (MW) of power to meet customer demand this summer.
“Ameren Illinois serves 1.2 million electric customers that rely on us to deliver safe, reliable energy each day. Through the investments we're making in the transmission and distribution systems, we’re meeting the needs of our customers today, while also planning for the future,” said Ron Pate, senior vice-president, Operations and Technical Service, Ameren Illinois.
Ameren Illinois has made several significant investments to bolster its transmission assets in Illinois. The company owns and maintains nearly 4,600 circuit miles of transmission (138 kilovolt (kV) through 345 kV) and 181 substations. Ameren Illinois is also in the midst of a transformative multi-year plan to strengthen its distribution facilities. The company is investing in projects to modernize the electric grid and improve system performance and reliability.
Under the Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act, Ameren Illinois has been aggressively installing storm-resilient utility poles, automated switches, and enhanced technology. This automation allows Ameren Illinois to restore power 17 percent faster on average. These reliability improvements are saving customers an estimated $46 million each year.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.