Smart Energy Plan Construction Begins in Capital City

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New smart technology designed to modernize and upgrade infrastructure.

Ameren Missouri has begun construction on the Jefferson City Smart Grid Project that will reduce the number of outages and speed power restoration for customers in downtown Jefferson City.

New underground equipment with smart technology is being installed throughout downtown to create a self-healing grid that is designed to reduce outage times for some service disruptions from hours to seconds.

Workers started the project by installing new switchgear on Jackson Street. The approximately 2,900-pound switchgear is a key part of the energy grid-hardening project.

Work on the $1.2 million initiative started in August and is scheduled for completion in December 2019.

"The Jefferson City Smart Grid Project will modernize and dramatically upgrade underground infrastructure to provide more reliable electric service to local and state agencies and businesses that serve millions of Missouri families on a daily basis," said Ralph "Chip" Webb, division director of the Central Missouri Division for Ameren Missouri.

The project includes installation of eight smart technology switchgears that have the capability to work together to detect and isolate outages and quickly re-route power. The project also includes the addition of innovative fiber optic cables that will allow streamlined communication with Ameren Missouri's network.

Among the businesses and government agencies that will benefit from the smart technology improvements are the Jefferson City Municipal Building and Police Department, Cole County Court House, Cole County Sheriff's Department and Jail, Missouri State Capitol, Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Department of Revenue, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and others in the downtown area.

"We recognize that the downtown area has seen some service interruptions and know that even short intermittent outages can have an adverse effect on daily lives and local government and business operations. This project will transform the energy grid into a much more robust, smarter and secure system for families and businesses," Webb said.

In addition to the downtown smart technology project, Ameren Missouri will upgrade the Fairgrounds Substation with new energy delivery cables to harden the system and provide improved customer reliability for decades to come. Multiple upgrade projects are also planned throughout Central Missouri and other parts of the state.

The Smart Energy Plan, announced in February, is the largest infrastructure upgrade plan in Ameren Missouri's history and was made possible by the passage of Senate Bill 564 last year by the Missouri General Assembly. The plan includes a $5.3 billion capital investment in more than 2,000 electric projects across Missouri. It also includes a $1 billion investment in wind generation to continue Ameren Missouri's transition to using cleaner, renewable energy sources, which will help to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The projects will also accelerate smart energy infrastructure and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Missouri workers.

Customers can learn more about the Smart Energy Plan at AmerenMissouri.com/SmartEnergyPlan.

September 2019 September 2019

Published on by Gregory Hauenstein.