Today AmerenUE reported that the rebuilding of the Taum Sauk Reservoir is on schedule and nearing completion. The last concrete was placed within the Upper Reservoir Dam in November 2009. Several other final components have been finalized and completed through February 2010. On February 27, the first water was pumped into the new dam; effectively initiating the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Upper Reservoir Refill Program.
Since the rebuilding process began, UE has worked with federal, local and state agencies to ensure the safety and quality of the new construction. Engineering professionals, including the engineer of record - Paul C. Rizzo Associates, have been monitoring the dam on-site 24 hours a day, assessing its condition. As a part of the refill program, a repetitive process of increasing and decreasing water levels has occurred to assess the dam’s readiness for operation. The concrete dam, like all similar structures, actually expands and contracts due to temperature variations. Because of this fact, the facility has been designed to allow for certain amounts of seepage and leakage which is captured in a drainage gallery. This feature allows UE to collect and measure the amount of leakage and ultimately monitor the health of the structure year round.
“We are very pleased with the performance of the Upper Reservoir to date,” says Mark Birk, UE vice president, Power Operations. “We are concluding the refill program and will shortly seek the necessary approvals to restore the plant to service.”
UE still needs final approval from FERC prior to operating the dam for commercial purposes. The plant is expected to return to full operation early this summer.
Taum Sauk originally began operation in 1963. The pumped storage facility is used primarily on a peaking basis and is put into operation when the demand for electricity is the greatest.
AmerenUE, founded in 1902, provides electric and gas service to approximately 1.2 million customers across central and eastern Missouri, including the greater St. Louis area. UE serves 57 Missouri counties and 500 towns. The company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. For more information, visit www.amerenue.com.
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Contacts: Michael A. West Jr., 314-554-2389