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Ameren Missouri customers getting stronger, smarter, cleaner and more resilient energy grid, thanks to Smart Energy Plan

Ameren Missouri customers getting stronger, smarter, cleaner and more resilient energy grid, thanks to Smart Energy Plan

/PRNewswire/ — Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), filed its updated Smart Energy Plan with the Missouri Public Service Commission today, describing the company’s plan to invest $8.4 billion primarily on grid modernization efforts over the next five years. Projects include investments in upgrading aging infrastructure, automated technology, stronger poles and upgraded power lines that benefit customers by reducing outages, restoring power faster. Projects also build and bolster the infrastructure needed to support more clean, renewable energy generation.

“Thanks to the Smart Energy Plan, we have been able to replace aging infrastructure and invest in a more resilient, reliable and sustainable energy system for our customers,” said Mark Birk, president of Ameren Missouri. “These are changes that many of our customers can see today. With thousands of upgrades completed, we’ve improved reliability by up to 40% where we have installed smart technology. And our customers will continue to see improvements as more upgrades are completed across our 24,000-square-mile system.”

Helping the local economy
A more modern energy grid also provides benefits to the local economy by creating engineering, planning and construction jobs and increasing orders with Missouri suppliers to provide many of the needed materials. In 2021, Ameren Missouri spent $438 million with Missouri vendors and contractors to complete Smart Energy Plan projects.

The plan also includes economic development incentives to help attract and retain Missouri businesses. As a result of these incentives, 30 companies have chosen to move to Missouri or expand their footprint here since 2019, providing 4,600 new jobs and retaining 4,200 jobs in local communities and contributing another $2.7 billion in new capital investments to Missouri’s economy.

Increasing reliability for customers
Ameren Missouri customers have benefited from thousands of completed projects since the passage of the Smart Energy Plan that create a smarter and more reliable energy grid. These include:

  • 750 smart equipment switches to reduce outages from hours to minutes and even seconds.
  • 41 new or upgraded substations to better serve communities.
  • 463,000 smart meters to provide two-way communication with Ameren Missouri and deliver more precise energy use information to customers.
  • 115 miles of upgraded power lines providing more ability to reroute power during an outage.

Making a difference around Missouri
Customers are seeing the positive impact of these projects. In Hayti, a new sub-transmission line was installed using stronger wires that are twisted together to reduce ice buildup and defuse high winds. The new line, in combination with new composite utility poles, helped prevent damage when a tornado ripped through southeast Missouri in December.

Another primary focus of the Smart Energy Plan has been to upgrade or build new substations. The improved substations feature transformers, automated sensors and smart switches that improve reliability, rapidly detect outages and minimize outage times so power can be restored to customers faster. These more modern substations are now benefiting communities in Center CityFlorissant, Creve Coeur and Benton. Other smart equipment, such as a distribution device called a “Viper Switch” located in communities including Foristell, also helps detect outages and reroutes power when possible – sometimes speeding power restoration from hours to seconds.

New smart meters provide two-way communication between the customer’s meter and Ameren Missouri’s upgraded network. This benefits customers by providing improved reliability, faster outage response and the convenience of managing energy usage online or through a mobile app.  Smart meters will continue to be rolled out to all Ameren Missouri customers over the next two years.

“As our updated Smart Energy Plan shows, we’re committed to continuing these projects to enhance Missouri’s energy grid over the next several years,” Birk said. “These are investments that will have a direct impact on the lives of our customers and communities and will ultimately enable us to meet the needs of a more sustainable energy future.”

The Smart Energy Plan began in 2018 with the passage of new energy legislation by the Missouri General Assembly.


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