Susan Gallagher Tim Fox
(314) 554-2175 (314) 554-3102
AmerenUE announced today that it had received recommendations from an independent advisory panel on the use of $5 million for project enhancements at or near the AmerenUE Taum Sauk Plant and that these recommendations have been placed on the Ameren Web site www.ameren.com/taumsauk.
In January, AmerenUE established the advisory panel to review all project recommendations submitted by individuals and groups so that the company could develop a final plan for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff’s review and approval. The seven-person panel conducted four public meetings to evaluate more than 100 recommendations totaling more than $50 million. Of the 100-plus recommendations, approximately 24 project enhancements were selected for a total of approximately $5 million.
Today, the company also announced that those who wish to provide feedback on the selected project recommendations should email or fax their comments to AmerenUE by 8 a.m. on Monday , March 12. Emails should go to eNews@ameren.com. Faxes should go to 314-554-2888, attention Brianne Lindemann. All comments must include a return email or U.S. postal address so that the company can acknowledge receipt of those comments.
AmerenUE’s final proposal will be submitted to FERC after consideration of comments resulting from this notice.
Panel members include the following community leaders: Patty Barton, Greg Batson, Chauncy Buchheit, Jim Chadbourne, Wanda Corder, Don Goodman, and Caroline Sheehy. Non-voting advisors to the panel are Reynolds County Presiding Commissioner Donald Barnes; State Sen. Kevin Engler (R-District 3); State Representative J. C. Kuessner (D.-District 152); and Iron County Presiding Commissioner Terry Nichols.
“The panelists and advisors could not have been more diligent and attentive to detail and to following the process as they analyzed volumes of information and spent hours in public discussions,” says Dan Cole, senior vice president, Ameren Corporation. “We are so very appreciative of their time and commitment—they really have shown extraordinary community leadership. Their involvement was essential because even though AmerenUE is funding the $5 million by agreement with the FERC, we did not think it was appropriate for our company to decide alone what is best for the communities around the Taum Sauk Plant. To develop its proposal, AmerenUE needed the input of leaders like those who served on the panel and as advisors.”
The Forrester Group—veteran Missouri-based environmental management consultants--facilitated the process and have been on the ground for several months providing outreach to the community. In recent weeks the firm’s consultants have been helping citizens develop applications.
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AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
AmerenUE’s Taum Sauk is a “pumped-storage” hydroelectric plant. It was built in 1963 to store water from the Black River in an upper reservoir atop 1,590-foot-high Proffit Mountain, to be later released to generate electricity when power is needed. The water flowed down a mile-long tunnel inside the mountain, turning turbine-generators to produce electricity. When power demand was low, the turbines ran in reverse to pump water back to the upper reservoir.
On December 14, 2005, the AmerenUE Taum Sauk Plant experienced a breach in its 1.5 billion-gallon upper reservoir. On February 5, 2007, AmerenUE announced its intent to rebuild the upper reservoir using modern design criteria and safety features.