Ameren Missouri is planning $5 billion worth of improvements to its energy grid, company officials announced Friday.
The Smart Energy Plan includes 2,000 electric projects to be completed during the next five years, including a new substation in Hazelwood and upgrades to the underground grid that serves downtown St. Louis. The utility also plans to spend $1 billion on wind energy in 2020.
“We’re modernizing this grid to benefit customers today as well as future generations to come,’’ Ameren President Michael Moehn said. “We’re engaging in over 2,000 projects, building a smarter, more reliable, cleaner energy grid.’’
The plan would be Ameren’s largest upgrade in its 100-year history, Moehn said.
Upgrades include smart-grid equipment that would improve Ameren’s ability to detect and isolate power outages. That should decrease the amount of time customers are without power.
The company also plans to install 12,000 new utility poles fortified with composite materials to better withstand severe storms.
Ameren filed the proposal with the state Public Service Commission on Thursday. It will hold a public meeting on the plan on March 4 in Jefferson City.
Ameren Missouri serves 1.2 million electric and 130,000 natural-gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 24,000 square miles in 64 counties and includes the greater St. Louis area.
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