A major Midwestern energy company has joined a regional effort to share critical transmission equipment when the power grid needs it most. Ameren Corp. — which includes Ameren Illinois, Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois and Ameren Missouri — announced last month it was joining the RESTORE (Regional Equipment Sharing for Transmission Outage Restoration) program, a privately organized, binding agreement to share transmission transformers in the wake of a disaster. Ameren is now one of 28 companies that span the Southeast, Midwest and Appalachian regions participating in the program.
Ameren, in partnership with S&C Electric, a Chicago-based smart-grid engineering firm, successfully completed a 24-hour “islanding” test earlier this month at the utility’s newly built microgrid in Champaign, Illinois, using wind, solar and battery storage.
Ameren Illinois’ request to scale back energy efficiency targets under a sweeping energy law passed last year is rooted, in part, in the longstanding divide between the Chicago area and “downstate“ Illinois.
An Illinois utility’s plan to accelerate and expand deployment of smart meters won approval from state regulators Thursday.
As a result of a legal settlement reached last week, Ameren Missouri will provide between $1 million and $2 million towards the electrification of buses in the St. Louis area. Some of the settlement funds may also go towards a community solar project that Ameren is considering developing. On Thursday, Ameren agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club in January, 2014, which alleged that the particulate emissions from several of Ameren’s coal-fired power plants were in violation of federal and state clean-air rules. The Sierra Club is a member of RE-AMP, which publishes Midwest Energy News.
The Missouri Sierra Club, now a shareholder in the state’s largest utility, filed a resolution on Friday that seeks to force a substantially increase in renewable energy.
While one Missouri utility is “overperforming” on energy efficiency, an agreement this week will help another of the state’s major utilities get caught up.
Legal motions filed this week claim that two Missouri utilities failed to follow state law when they stopped processing applications for solar rebates late last year.
A century ago, the newly emerging electrical grid’s impact on birds and other wildlife was far from anyone’s mind. A lot has changed since then.
A rebate program intended to make solar power more attractive in coal-dependent Missouri has become a victim of its own success.