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Ameren investing $5.8 million here

 
updated: 9/29/2015 11:26 PM

As part of a multi-year plan to build a next generation energy delivery system and create jobs in central and southern Illinois, Ameren Illinois announced today it is investing approximately $5.8 million to improve natural gas and electric service for residential and small business customers in and around Perry and Randolph counties.

"Over time, the upgrades we"re making now will provide our customers with access to more programs, pricing options and energy efficiency tools to help them manage their energy usage and better control their costs," said Eric Kozak, Director of Division VI Operations for Ameren Illinois. "These improvements will also help us detect outages sooner and restore service more promptly."

This month local customers will begin to receive notification about upcoming electric and natural gas meter upgrades, which are scheduled to begin in November and continue throughout 2016. The two-way advanced meters will provide better information for restoring outages and give Ameren Illinois customers more meaningful information about their energy usage. Here are some of the local upgrades:

In DuQuoin – To improve service reliability and help aid restoration times for customer outages, Ameren Illinois is replacing a half-mile section of power lines on Adams St. just southwest of the substation. Investment: $465,000

In Pinckneyville – The company is upgrading to 14 mega-volt-amp (MVA) transformer from an older 5.2-MVA unit inside the substation on Sap Road. The upgrade will add capacity to the substation as well as help ensure the company can meet the evolving demands of business and residential customers in the future. Investment: $960,000.

In addition to upgrading the transformer, the company is upgrading overhead power lines and establishing a new connection or "tie" between two distribution lines. This tie will provide an alternate pathway to deliver power in the event of an outage. The goal of this project is to improve the reliability in Pinckneyville as well as Sunfield and Tamaroa. Investment: $100,000.

Upgrades inside the Pinckneyville substation on Illinois Route 127 were made to replace sub-transmission breakers. These improvements will reduce the breaker clearing time for faults, which will reduce the stress on the area"s grid and increase the reliability of the distribution system. Investment: $520,000. Since 2012, Ameren Illinois has implemented hundreds of system reliability projects by adding new technology and fortifying the energy grid. As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 17 percent, saving Ameren Illinois customers an estimated $48 million a year. The utility has added more than 800 employees, and more than 1,200 Illinois-based contract workers who are supporting Ameren Illinois projects.

Customers with questions can visit AmerenIllinois.com/focus or call Ameren Illinois Customer Service at 1-800-755-5000.