Ameren Illinois is installing new power poles and power lines in Scott County to better protect the grid against weather-related outages.
Beginning in January, the company began replacing 91 poles along an 8.5-mile stretch from its Winchester Substation to the Concord Junction and 77 poles along a 5.5-mile route from Concord Junction to Bluffs. Composite fiberglass poles are being erected at strategic points along each route to stabilize the lines and prevent poles from falling in high winds.
"Composite poles are flexible and able to help the entire line to better withstand the impacts of severe weather," said Chad Cloninger, Division Director for Ameren Illinois. "Along with the larger-capacity lines we're installing, these enhancements will improve service reliability for our customers in Scott County."
Weather permitting this $4.5 million project should be completed by the end of 2019.
"This project is a key step in our long-range plans to construct a more robust electric grid to meet our customers growing needs by adding the newest distribution automation technology,” Cloninger says. “We're excited to bring these innovative enhancements to our customers in Scott County."
The enhancements are part of Ameren Illinois' multi-year initiative to modernize its energy delivery system. Since 2012, the company has implemented hundreds of projects, adding new technology and strengthening poles, wires and distribution equipment. As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 17 percent and the time of an outage has been reduced by 19 percent.