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Ameren Illinois Announces Projects to Build Smarter Energy Infrastructure in Belleville

in Companies

New substation, outage detection technology among enhancements to improve service reliability and reduce customer costs.


Ameren Illinois announced today that it has begun constructing a new state-of-the-art substation and installing smart technology to support commercial and residential growth in Belleville’s west end.

The substation – to be known as North Shrine – is being built near Lamask Drive and Briar Hill Road on the north side of Illinois Route 15, across the highway from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.   When in service, by the end  of Spring, the North Shrine substation will meet the energy needs of the new Hofbräuhaus Brewery, currently under construction, and a hotel and conference center planned for the site.  It will contain advanced equipment capable of better serving electric load increases expected from these new commercial developments while boosting reliability for more than 2,000 residential and commercial customers in the area. The substation footprint will be large enough to add an additional transformer if needed.

Five outage detection devices, known as IntelliRupters, will be installed onto circuits that feed out of and tie to the new substation.  These smart devices sense faults in the flow of electricity and identify circuits from which power can be re-routed to reduce the number of customers affected by an outage.

“These projects are a key step in our long-range plans to construct a smarter electric grid to meet our customers growing needs,” said Raymond Riddle, director of Division Operations for Ameren Illinois serving St. Clair County. “We’re excited to bring these innovative enhancements to our customers in the region.”

The work is part of a multi-year initiative to modernize the energy delivery system. Since 2012, Ameren Illinois 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.

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois.

Photo Above: A J.F. Electric lineman, working on behalf of Ameren Illinois, works to position a new IntelliRupter into place on a power pole in Signal Hill.  As part of its Modernization Action Plan, Ameren Illinois is building a smarter energy infrastructure in Belleville.  The IntelliRupter will team with two other smart switches in the neighborhood. These smart devices sense faults in the flow of electricity and identify circuits from which power can be re-routed to reduce the number of customers affected by an outage.

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