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Smart Energy Plan

Power to do what matters most. Like introducing your newborn to loved ones at the local hospital. Keeping your fridge on and its contents fresh. Keeping the lights on at the championship game. We know how even a short outage affects you. As Ameren customers, they affect us, too. The Smart Energy Plan includes investments to make sure the places where you live and work have clean, reliable energy. This means new power lines, stronger poles, upgrading substations and adding smart technology to take outages from hours to minutes.

Metro South Reliability Project Spans Mississippi River

Ameren Missouri's Smart Energy Plan project will provide greater energy reliability to thousands in the region

"I will say, I did not expect this; this is above and beyond. The bravery to get up on that 300-foot tower and to dangle from a helicopter, it's incredible," said Rep. Bridget Walsh Moore (D-93, St. Louis).

Walsh Moore was one of four Missouri legislators who attended the Smart Energy Plan event, south of downtown St. Louis, in early April. Sen. Doug Beck (D-1, St. Louis), Rep. Jim Murphy (R-94, St. Louis) and Rep. Ron Hicks (R-102, Dardenne Prairie) expressed similar comments when they saw aerial electrical lineworkers and equipment being lifted by a helicopter to the top of one of the new transmission towers.

The work was being done with Ameren's contract partner, Intren, to install two transmission circuits spanning 2,700-feet across the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois. The conductor is installed on two new transmission towers built on each side of the river. The $244M transmission line project will benefit more than 100 thousand Ameren Missouri customers.

"The Metro South Reliability Project is being executed in anticipation of the Meramec Energy Center retirement planned for later in 2022," said Suzanne Pohlman, project manager, transmission, Ameren. "The rebuilt line will improve grid reliability, meet local energy needs, and provide access to energy sources, including renewables."

The helicopter was used to pull ropes across the river to bring in cables for wire pulling. After the ropes were installed, the helicopter ferried aerial linemen and material up to the top of the 294-foot towers, which are nearly the same height at the Statue of Liberty. Each of the new towers weighs about 500 thousand pounds and took two months to construct. The old towers, built in the 1950's, had reached their end of life and were imploded near the end of April.

The entire project is approximately 10 miles of 138,000-volt transmission line in St. Louis County and in the City of St. Louis. The line, rebuilt on existing right-of-way, connects the Watson Substation in Shrewsbury to the Lemay Substation near Bella Villa and cross the Mississippi River to a final destination in Dupo, Illinois. By having two lines, known as double circuiting, it provides a second power supply preventing future outages and increased energy capacity.

"Our transmission system is a superhighway of energy," said Shawn Schukar, president, Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois. "As we look to the future needs of our customers and communities, we're planning and designing a more robust system that can deliver safe, affordable, reliable and cleaner energy with our newest Smart Grid technology."

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