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Ameren proposes major transmission line construction

"There are now 5,000 megawatts of wind generation seeking to connect to the Ameren transmission system in Missouri and Illinois. Because of our central location, our transmission facilities are becoming a thoroughfare for routing wind power from other areas as well," Maureen Borkowski, CEO of the newly formed Ameren Transmission Co. (ATX), said in a conference call.

Ameren Corp. says $3 billion in new high-voltage transmission lines - including one running through central Illinois from Quincy to Indiana - are needed in the next 10 to 15 years to meet the rising demand for power.

Company executives also said Monday the added capacity would create jobs and ease transmission of alternative energy from wind farms and clean-coal plants without significantly affecting rates.

The plan is subject to approval by federal regulators.

"There are now 5,000 megawatts of wind generation seeking to connect to the Ameren transmission system in Missouri and Illinois. Because of our central location, our transmission facilities are becoming a thoroughfare for routing wind power from other areas as well," Maureen Borkowski, CEO of the newly formed Ameren Transmission Co. (ATX), said in a conference call.

The first round of $1.3 billion would be concentrated in Illinois, including a line that would pick up two proposed coal-gasification projects, the Taylorville Energy Center in Christian County and FutureGen, near Mattoon.

Borkowski said work could begin in 2011 if regulatory approval is granted.

The company filed the plan Monday with... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Ameren Corp. says $3 billion in new high-voltage transmission lines - including one running through central Illinois from Quincy to Indiana - are needed in the next 10 to 15 years to meet the rising demand for power.

Company executives also said Monday the added capacity would create jobs and ease transmission of alternative energy from wind farms and clean-coal plants without significantly affecting rates.

The plan is subject to approval by federal regulators.

"There are now 5,000 megawatts of wind generation seeking to connect to the Ameren transmission system in Missouri and Illinois. Because of our central location, our transmission facilities are becoming a thoroughfare for routing wind power from other areas as well," Maureen Borkowski, CEO of the newly formed Ameren Transmission Co. (ATX), said in a conference call.

The first round of $1.3 billion would be concentrated in Illinois, including a line that would pick up two proposed coal-gasification projects, the Taylorville Energy Center in Christian County and FutureGen, near Mattoon.

Borkowski said work could begin in 2011 if regulatory approval is granted.

The company filed the plan Monday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is expected to rule within 60 days on formation of ATX, as well as the rates Ameren says is needed to attract investors.

Rates would be spread across a 13-state network of the Midwest Independent System Transmission Operator, a network of utilities and energy companies that are part of a larger effort to update the Midwest power grid.

By spreading the cost of improvements across that grid, including the cost of upgrades on other utility systems, the effect on consumers should be minimal, according to Borkowski.

"If the project (the $1.3 billion) were entirely developed, the residential impact would be less than a dollar a day," she said.

Ameren CEO Thomas Voss said estimates are the nation's power grid needs $289 billion in investments in the next 20 years.

"When you hear about blackouts that affect multiple states ... these events involve the failure of critical lines," said Voss.

Citizens Utility Board executive director Dave Kolata said the regional and national power grid needs to be upgraded, but the consumer group wants to assure the added construction and cost are justified.

"Some new transmission lines may be needed. We want to make sure the transmission lines are in the interest of the Illinois consumer," he said.


Source: http://www.sj-r.com/busines...

AUG 3 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27542-ameren-proposes-major-transmission-line-construction
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