Susan Gallagher Tim Fox
(314) 554-2175 (314) 554-3120
AmerenUE announced today that the company has submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff its report on the recommendations that a seven-person independent panel developed for using $5 million for project enhancements at or near the company’s Taum Sauk Plant. This submission awaits final approval from the FERC staff.
AmerenUE in its submission to the staff wrote that, after careful consideration, the company adopted the panel’s recommendation as its own and requested that the FERC staff approve the plan as being in compliance with the FERC stipulation outlining what types of projects could be funded.
“We judged the panel’s recommendation to be a fair and balanced allocation of the $5 million,” says Dan Cole, senior vice president, Ameren Corporation. “We again want to express appreciation to the members of the panel, the advisory members, the emergency management system technical committee and representatives of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Attorney General’s Office. In addition, we thank Lesterville High School’s staff for use of the facilities, all those who submitted comments and applications and the many people who came to the meetings to participate in the process.”
The submittal, which has been placed on the Ameren Web site -– www.ameren.com/taumsauk --- includes the panel’s recommendations and a discussion of approximately 80 comments received from citizens who were offered a chance to provide input on those recommendations.
Also included in the submittal is an implementation plan that outlines the steps successful applicants must take to complete their projects.
Once the FERC staff rules on the project recommendations, The Forrester Group will then help applicants with the implementation process, including preparation of grant agreements, bid development and selection, record-keeping and other assistance, as required.
The Forrester Group—veteran Missouri-based environmental management consultants—facilitated the panel review process and has been on the ground in the area since January, when AmerenUE established the independent panel. 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.
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.
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.
Built in 1963, AmerenUE’s Taum Sauk is a “pumped-storage” hydroelectric plant. It stored water from the Black River in an upper reservoir, built atop1,590-foot-high Proffit Mountain, and released the water to generate electricity when power was needed. The water flowed down a mile-long tunnel inside the mountain, turning turbine-generators to produce electricity. When power demand was low, the same 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 that caused flooding in the Johnson’s Shut-Ins area.
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