Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI), in collaboration with Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative (Northeast Power) and Ameren Missouri, proposed a new route for the Mark Twain Transmission Project that would use the existing right of way of Northeast Power and Ameren Missouri.
The proposed new route will minimize impact to landowners, communities and existing farmland – and result in fewer utility structures along the existing right of way.
“After listening to community members, landowners, county commissioners and other local and state representatives, we evaluated new route options for the project,” said Shawn Schukar, the new chairman and president of ATXI. “Working together with Northeast Power, we are proposing an option that addresses the concerns we heard. We believe the new route will achieve the intended project benefits of economic growth, increased tax revenue, greater reliability and improved access to clean energy sources for the region.”
The proposed new route will run through Adair, Knox, Lewis, Marion and Schuyler counties in Missouri and includes construction of the Zachary Substation near Kirksville, Missouri. To minimize the potential impacts of the project and to address concerns of property owners and local communities, nearly 90 percent of the proposed route will use existing right of way on Northeast Power’s 161 kV line between Palmyra and Kirksville and Ameren Missouri’s 161 kV line from Kirksville to the Iowa border. New right of way will be sought in Adair County to connect the Zachary and Adair substations, and in Marion County to connect to the Maywood Substation.
If the proposed new route is approved, approximately 55 miles of Northeast Power’s 161 kV transmission line – running between Palmyra and Kirksville – will be completely rebuilt. ATXI will remove the current wooden H-frame transmission facilities and replace them with new steel monopoles. ATXI will pay for the poles, insulators and hardware.
"We believe that collaborating with ATXI on this co-location project will enhance reliability for member-consumers and bring long-term economic value to the region," said Douglas Aeilts, CEO and general manager, Northeast Power. “Due to the age of Northeast Power’s current 161 kV line, we would need to replace the line in 10 to 15 years, which would cost approximately $30 million. Working with ATXI allows Northeast Power to save a significant amount of money while making important infrastructure improvements on our system.”
In addition, ATXI will completely rebuild Ameren Missouri’s line between Kirksville and the Iowa border. Landowners living along the existing Northeast Power and Ameren Missouri lines will benefit from less burden on farmland – due to the reduced number of poles and the elimination of guy wires and anchors – and new easement payments.
The project will help generate economic growth in northeast Missouri and lead to millions of dollars in additional annual tax revenue to support schools, roads, police, and emergency and social services in the five Missouri counties where the line will be located.
ATXI expects to invest approximately $250 million in the project, which is planned to be placed in service in December 2019. Input from landowners will be gathered, and approval from Adair, Knox, Lewis, Marion and Schuyler counties is needed to proceed with the new route. Northeast Power and ATXI recently sent letters to property owners outlining details about the project and requesting feedback. Open houses for landowners who live along the proposed new route are scheduled for mid-June.
Additional information can be found at www.MarkTwainTransmission.com.
About Ameren Corporation
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric distribution and transmission service, as well as natural gas distribution service, while Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of over 10,200 megawatts, and natural gas distribution service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) is a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation and develops regional electric transmission projects. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp, or LinkedIn/company/Ameren.
About Northeast Power
Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative (Northeast Power) is a not-for-profit transmission electric utility owned by eight member-distribution cooperatives – five located in northeast Missouri and three in southeast Iowa. Northeast Power operates as part of a three-tiered cooperative system. The top tier is made up of the member-distribution cooperatives that distribute electricity directly to the member-consumers. The second tier is made up of regional transmission cooperatives that provide wholesale power and electric transmission services from the generating facilities to the member-distribution cooperatives. The third tier is Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (Associated) – a cooperative responsible for generation and power procurement. Together with the eight member-distribution cooperatives and Associated, Northeast Power provides safe, affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible energy to nearly 56,000 member-consumers in Missouri and Iowa. Northeast Power is headquartered in Palmyra, Missouri, with a satellite office located in Steuben, Iowa. For more information, visit http://northeast-power.coop.