On Monday, Ameren Illinois was recognized by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) for its groundbreaking work with distributed energy resources (DER). The inaugural Smart Energy Innovation Award award was presented to the company during SECC's 2018 Consumer Symposium, hosted as part of DistribuTECH in San Antonio, Texas,
"With the development of the microgrid facility in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Ameren Illinois is at the forefront of developing smart energy technologies that can empower customers and engage them in their energy use,” said Patty Durand, President & CEO, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative. “I applaud Ameren Illinois on their innovation and leadership that’s helping build a better energy future for all.”
"On behalf of Ameren Illinois co-workers, I want to thank the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative for this recognition," said Richard J. Mark, chairman and president of Ameren Illinois. "As the energy needs and expectations of our customers continue to rise, and as exciting, innovative technologies advance, we're not waiting for others to lead. The microgrid facility is one of a series of innovations we are working on to help us lead the way to a more secure energy future and better empower our customers."
The Ameren microgrid is a first-of-its-kind facility, considered one of the most technologically advanced utility-scale microgrids in North America. The $5 million facility, located at Ameren's Technology Applications Center (TAC) adjacent to the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois, is one of the only utility-scale microgrids in the nation capable of serving customer loads on an actual utility distribution feeder.
It is also one of the few in the world that operate at utility-scale voltages, between 4-kilovolts and 34.5-kilovolts, with multiple levels of control. It is the only known microgrid in the nation capable of seamlessly transitioning the power source for an entire distribution circuit from exclusively distributed generation sources to the traditional grid. This concept, known as "islanding", enables Ameren to deliver more than 1-megawatt to customers without experiencing an outage.
As larger companies and high energy users seek to become more energy independent, Ameren built the microgrid facility to test monitoring and control methods for aggregating clean energy sources – wind, solar, and natural gas – with advanced automation and battery storage.
For more information on Ameren's winning program, view the SECC's Best Practices Guide located here.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in Illinois. 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, find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois or Facebook.