Back to Media Room

News Releases

AmerenUE Announces $1 Billion 'Project Power On' Reliability and Environmental Improvement Program
Customers in 62 Missouri counties will benefit from improved reliability, upgraded delivery system, and enhanced environmental performance

ST. LOUIS, July 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AmerenUE, a utility operating company of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years to improve reliability, upgrade delivery systems, and enhance the environmental performance of its power plants.

"With the severe weather patterns of the past few years and a focus on improving air quality, we are working even harder to ensure reliability for our customers of today and tomorrow," said Thomas R. Voss, president and chief executive officer of AmerenUE. "We've been working closely with community officials and leaders across our system to determine the best approach for improving our delivery system, while ensuring that we meet the growing demand for energy."

Named "Project Power On," this three-year initiative involves a commitment over and above the $500 million per year the company has been spending on efforts to upgrade and maintain the system.

Project Power On involves four components designed to address the region's current and future energy and environmental needs. These include:

  -- $300 million over three years for undergrounding and reliability
     improvement -- AmerenUE is planning to increase company spending by
     $100 million per year to better protect the system against severe
     weather. This includes a substantial underground cabling effort in
     neighborhoods most at risk of electric service disruption and where
     undergrounding is feasible, improves reliability, and makes economic
  -- $135 million over three years ($45 million annually) for tree-trimming
     -- Nearly twice the budget of a few years ago, AmerenUE is pursuing a
     more aggressive tree removal and trimming plan that will include
     trimming on private property with the property owner's consent. This
     program targets electric lines built to serve new developments over the
     past four decades; many new trees planted during that time now
     jeopardize the system in severe weather. The company will continue to
     work with local governments on ways to handle tree issues both on
     public lands and private property.
  -- $84 million over three years (approximately $28 million per year) for
     circuit and device inspection and repair -- AmerenUE is increasing the
     frequency of pole repair and replacement and establishing a "foot
     patrol" inspection program, in addition to the visual inspection done
     by tree-trimming staff. This aggressive preventive maintenance will
     help identify, repair, and/or replace poles and other equipment prior
     to failure. The company is expanding its pole and line inspection
     programs to include all poles. These efforts will be supported by new
     technology that allows crews to check the integrity of lines throughout
     the distribution system.
  -- $500 million over three years to address the growing energy needs of
     the region by installing environmental controls on existing plants so
     that they meet or do better than federal environmental standards -- The
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air Interstate Rule
     (CAIR) calls for reductions of nitrogen oxide emissions by 70 percent
     and sulfur dioxide by 65 percent - both by 2015 - and the Clean Air
     Mercury Rule (CAMR) calls for mercury emission reductions of 70 percent
     by 2018. With this $500 million investment, AmerenUE expects to improve
     air quality for future generations. Most of the funding will go toward
     installing scrubbers at AmerenUE's Sioux Plant, helping AmerenUE
     achieve compliance with EPA and state requirements.

"We know what our customers want," Voss said. "When they flip a switch, they want the lights to come on, and these initiatives will help us reliably supply that electricity -- now and into the future. A significant part of this goal is continuing our environmental leadership role, ensuring our plants are clean and efficient, while addressing the increasing energy needs of our region."

Voss added that, in addition to committing funding for a range of projects, the company has appointed a full-time project manager as the primary contact for this effort. In April, AmerenUE hired an experienced consultant to help evaluate its reliability and storm response. KEMA Inc. has extensive experience in the areas of emergency response, reliability, and maintenance practices. KEMA will develop a Storm Adequacy Study that will be shared with regulators.

Voss stressed that AmerenUE continues to welcome a public dialogue to determine future actions and investments that are necessary to prepare the AmerenUE system for severe storms. He said that working with the regulators, community leaders, and customers will be key in determining the best public policy approach to investment in greater reliability.

With 1.2 million customers, AmerenUE is Missouri's largest electric company and third largest provider of natural gas. Ameren, through its operating companies, serves 2.4 million electric and 1 million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Illinois and Missouri.


Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed elsewhere in this release and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:

  -- Regulatory or legislative actions, including changes in regulatory
     policies and ratemaking determinations
  -- Changes in laws and other governmental actions, including monetary and
     fiscal policies
  -- Business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest
  -- Disruptions of the capital markets or other events that make access to
     necessary capital more difficult or costly
  -- Actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions
  -- Weather conditions and other natural phenomena
  -- The impact of system outages caused by severe weather conditions or
     other events
  -- Generation plant construction, installation, and performance
  -- The impact of current environmental regulations on utilities and power
     generating companies and the expectation that more stringent
     requirements, including those related to greenhouse gases, will be
     introduced over time, which could have a negative financial effect
  -- Legal and administrative proceedings
  -- Acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, or intentionally disruptive acts

Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.

                             Project Power On
               Undergrounding Project Investment by County

  Missouri County                 Customers           Three-Year
  SAINT LOUIS                       486,621         $121,032,000
  SAINT LOUIS CITY                  179,770          $44,709,000
  SAINT CHARLES                     119,420          $29,700,000
  JEFFERSON                          85,428          $21,246,000
  FRANKLIN                           43,734          $10,890,000
  COLE                               29,276           $7,287,000
  SAINT FRANCOIS                     25,814           $6,405,000
  CAPE GIRARDEAU                     24,218           $6,024,000
  CAMDEN                             21,923           $5,451,000
  LINCOLN                            11,493           $2,865,000
  WASHINGTON                         10,782           $2,688,000
  ADAIR                              10,690           $2,667,000
  RANDOLPH                           10,679           $2,664,000
  SCOTT                               9,203           $2,295,000
  WARREN                              8,982           $2,241,000
  MILLER                              8,600           $2,145,000
  PEMISCOT                            8,312           $2,073,000
  PIKE                                7,872           $1,962,000
  STODDARD                            7,592           $1,893,000
  AUDRAIN                             7,585           $1,890,000
  MORGAN                              6,918           $1,725,000
  CLAY                                6,694           $1,668,000
  COOPER                              6,159           $1,536,000
  MISSISSIPPI                         5,408           $1,350,000
  NEW MADRID                          5,415           $1,350,000
  MONTGOMERY                          5,183           $1,293,000
  IRON                                5,101           $1,272,000
  CALLAWAY                            4,637           $1,155,000
  BOONE                               3,723             $927,000
  DUNKLIN                             3,558             $888,000
  LINN                                3,475             $867,000
  CALDWELL                            3,020             $753,000
  LEWIS                               2,821             $702,000
  OSAGE                               2,796             $696,000
  GASCONADE                           2,454             $612,000
  CLINTON                             2,414             $603,000
  MONITEAU                            2,048             $510,000
  MARIES                              1,656             $414,000
  RAY                                 1,644             $411,000
  KNOX                                1,504             $375,000
  DEKALB                              1,318             $330,000
  RALLS                               1,170             $291,000
  CLARK                                 953             $237,000
  HOWARD                                866             $216,000
  SCHUYLER                              690             $171,000
  SULLIVAN                              673             $168,000
  MONROE                                664             $165,000
  LIVINGSTON                            444             $111,000
  PETTIS                                347              $87,000
  DAVIESS                               342              $84,000
  MADISON                               320              $81,000
  BUTLER                                  1              $75,000
  CHARITON                                2              $75,000
  DENT                                    3              $75,000
  GENTRY                                 89              $75,000
  MACON                                   3              $75,000
  MARION                                 74              $75,000
  PHELPS                                  3              $75,000
  REYNOLDS                               14              $75,000
  SAINTE GENEVIEVE                       72              $75,000
  SALINE                                113              $75,000
  SCOTLAND                              233              $75,000

  Total                           1,203,016         $300,000,000

SOURCE: Ameren Corporation

CONTACT: media, Tim Fox, +1-314-554-3120, or Mike Cleary,
+1-573-681-7137, or investors, Bruce Steinke, +1-314-554-2574, all of Ameren

Web site: http://www.ameren.com/