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Ameren

Ameren Teams Up With Arcturis to Build New Illinois Corporate Headquarters

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St. Louis-based architecture and design collaborative Arcturis releases exclusive details about the recently-developed 46,000 square-foot Ameren Illinois Corporate Center.

St. Louis-based architecture and design collaborative Arcturis (Arcturis.com), today released project details about the Ameren Illinois Corporate Center (10 Executive Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234.) The 46,000 square-foot, two-story structure, which accommodates 225 Ameren employees, is the latest ground-up construction project in Arcturis’ portfolio.

The planning of the new headquarters was prompted by Ameren’s need to consolidate and centralize its employees into a central location. Accordingly, Arcturis aligned the new facility with Ameren’s corporate workplace standards including open workspace, private offices, an executive suite, and a multifunctional auditorium.

Arcturis facilitated an integrated approach to the new headquarters, developing all facets including architecture, landscape design, interior design, graphic design, workspace strategy, and branding elements.

“When we were first presented with the site for the new Corporate Center, our design team was inspired by expansive views across the post-agrarian landscape,” said Arcturis Principal Megan Ridgeway. “Preserving the site’s connection with nature was a priority throughout the project.”

The space’s enclosed offices and meeting rooms are organized in a central spine, allowing natural light to illuminate workspaces. Additionally, the multifunctional auditorium features a floor-to-ceiling glass wall connecting occupants to an elevated outdoor patio.

“The Corporate Center has a deep connection to the outdoors,” said Arcturis lead architect Bill Decker. “The extensive amount of glass enabled us to capitalize on our strategy of bringing in as much natural light into the space as possible.”

Arcturis is a nationally-recognized architectural design collaborative headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. A recognized WBE and leader in the industry for over 40 years, the firm’s award-winning team of architects, designers, and planners excel in understanding the complex design challenges impacting a diverse range of workspaces. For more visit Arcturis.com.

Ameren Upgrades Enable GECO to Outfit Electrical in ‘The Last Hotel’ Downtown

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Guarantee Electrical Company’s turnkey electrical contracting work includes equipping an historic downtown St. Louis building that will open in May as a boutique hotel.

GECO Project Manager Rob Truebe says thanks to a new Ameren Missouri downtown revitalization initiative, powering historic structures such as The Last Hotel (formerly the International Shoe Company headquarters at 1510 Washington Avenue) allows for greater back-up power potential.

“This building, which was constructed more than 100 years ago, originally had 208 volts (120/208 volt) as did many of downtown St. Louis’ buildings,” said Truebe. “What Ameren is now doing is bringing 13,500 volts of electrical service to structures like this one and installing substations – switch gear and transformer rooms – within buildings to increase operational efficiency. The new transformers convert the power into 277/480 volt for larger loads. Under this new system, Ameren has the capability with these switches to back-feed the city grid with its new equipment and eliminate outages by transferring users over to a different system. This is a big plus for building owners,” he added.

Ameren Missouri Spokesperson Brad Brown said the utility company’s Downtown East Revitalization Project began Jan. 2 and is part of an overall strategy to prepare downtown St. Louis for a smarter energy grid.

“As part of Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan, we are upgrading 100,000 feet of underground infrastructure to improve the power quality and energy reliability that businesses and residents count on every day,” said Brown. “We are replacing aging infrastructure, setting the stage for future upgrades and preparing for growth in downtown St. Louis.”

Details of Ameren’s efforts include replacing aging conduit duct work made of clay and fiber with new duct work made from 5-inch PVC. The nearly $8 million, two-year effort also includes diversifying Ameren’s conduit system downtown by adding multiple conduit duct paths in each manhole to ensure a more reliable system. “Future installations, combined with new advanced cable with fiber optic sensing and controls, will allow us to reroute energy to another path if a problem is detected,” Brown said. “In most cases, customers would not experience an outage and if they were impacted, restoration times would be significantly reduced.”

Ameren Workers, Equipment from Missouri and Illinois Heading to Puerto Rico to Help Accelerate Power Restoration

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Response is part of industrywide effort

Ameren is participating in an industrywide effort to step up on-going power restoration and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico due to the catastrophic destruction of electric infrastructure following Hurricanes Irma and Marie. Ameren and other U.S. electric companies who are members of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) will deploy additional restoration workers to Puerto Rico in January. Ameren is sending nearly 75 line workers and additional support personnel as part of this effort.

Beginning a 2,000-plus mile journey, equipment from Ameren, including trucks and trailers, is expected to roll out from St. Louis and Maryville, Illinois, as soon as later this week. The equipment will be headed first to Norfolk, Virginia, where it will be loaded on a barge along with supplies and resources from other utilities. Following the expected arrival of this restoration equipment in Puerto Rico in mid-January, Ameren is planning for its co-workers to be on the ground contributing to the relief effort shortly thereafter, as part of a contingent of 1,500 additional personnel arriving from the mainland. With this new wave, the total number of power restoration workers in Puerto Rico will increase to more than 5,500.

“Working side by side with our electric industry colleagues from all over the country, Ameren is committed to powering the quality of life for the people of Puerto Rico, just as we are for the communities we serve,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corporation. “While the challenges associated with the mission in Puerto Rico are unprecedented, our co-workers, who selflessly volunteered for this assignment, stand ready to safely tackle these challenges and accelerate the power restoration and rebuilding efforts for the citizens of Puerto Rico.” 

Ray Wiesehan, Ameren’s vice president for corporate security and crisis management, said the island has been sectored into seven regions for purposes of the restoration. Ameren co-workers will work in the Carolina Region, located on the northeast coast immediately east of San Juan. Ameren personnel will work under the direction of incident management teams (IMTs) that were deployed to Puerto Rico Dec. 10 to support the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA’s) regional directors.

Working with PREPA, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the IMTs are focused on completing a full damage assessment of Puerto Rico’s energy grid to develop an updated and more closely coordinated restoration plan.

Since the request for mutual assistance was first received from PREPA in early November, EEI and its member companies, including Ameren, have been working in partnership with the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association to supply technical expertise, materials, equipment, and resources to the island.

The deployment of additional crews represents the next phase in the mutual assistance response.

“Ameren will send crews for three weeks and rotate them, as needed, until completion of the work,” Wiesehan said. “It’s a difficult job, but our co-workers have the training and expertise to get the job done. Our focus, as always, will be working safely so we can restore power as efficiently as possible for the people of Puerto Rico.”

St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp, or LinkedIn/company/Ameren.

Ameren Releases 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

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Report highlights how company balances responsibilities to customers, communities, shareholders, its workforce and the environment

The 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report for Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE) is now available at AmerenCSR.com. The voluntary report details Ameren’s commitment to energy sustainability and the company’s responsibilities to its many stakeholders.

The report addresses a range of topics, including environmental performance, community betterment and financial strength.

“Operating in a sustainable way requires us to carefully balance multiple priorities,” said Warner L. Baxter, Ameren’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.  “First, we have a responsibility to our customers and the communities we serve – we remain focused on delivering superior customer value, including very good reliability at reasonable prices. We also have a responsibility to shareholders, who are Ameren’s owners, and to our co-workers, with safety being one of our core values. And of course we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment and our shared world.”

Report highlights include:

 Cleaner air: Ameren has achieved significant decreases in emissions at its coal-fired energy centers since 2005. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions dropped by 26 percent, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions dropped by 44 percent and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions were reduced by 63 percent.

 Economic Impact: Serving as an economic engine in Illinois and Missouri, Ameren made more than $2 billion of capital expenditures in 2016, supported a payroll of $994 million and paid $467 million in state and local taxes.

 Customer Value: Ameren Missouri’s and Ameren Illinois’ electric rates remain below the Midwest and U.S. averages. Even though Ameren’s prices are comparatively low, some customers need extra help, which is why Ameren partners with social agencies to administer bill assistance programs funded by company and customer contributions.

 Reliability: Ameren’s electric distribution reliability performance has improved, as measured by the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI). This important industry measure shows how Ameren has reduced the total number of interruptions per customer served per year.

 Charitable giving: Ameren contributed nearly $7.3 million in 2016 to nearly 1,000 nonprofit organizations throughout the two-state region.

 Financial performance: Ameren shareholders have seen a total cumulative shareholder return of 63 percent over the three-year period from Dec. 31, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2016, performance that beat indices such as the S&P 500 Utilities and Philadelphia Utility Index.

In October 2017, Ameren Missouri will release its updated 20-year energy generation plan. Baxter previewed this update in a video message that’s part of the report.

“We remain committed to transitioning to a cleaner, more diverse generation portfolio in a responsible fashion,” Baxter said.

Baxter continued: “Our vision – ‘Leading the Way to a Secure Energy Future’ – describes the future we work to enable: a future with cleaner energy and a stronger, smarter grid capable of delivering the products and services our customers value most, while delivering the long-term economic growth of the communities we serve and delivering superior value to the shareholders to whom we are accountable.”

St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric delivery and transmission service as well as natural gas delivery service. Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of over 10,200 megawatts, and natural gas delivery service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois develops regional electric transmission projects. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp or LinkedIn/company/Ameren.

Download – Ameren’s two-page summary PDF.

Federal Court Finds Ameren Violated the Clean Air Act at Rush Island Coal Plant

in News

On January 23, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri issued a decision holding Ameren Missouri liable for violations of the Clean Air Act at its Rush Island coal plant in Jefferson County, Missouri.

On behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Ameren in 2011 for violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review provisions after Ameren made major upgrades to boilers at the 41-year old Rush Island plant.  Those upgrades significantly increased emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2).  Ameren should have applied for a permit for those upgrades, which would have required it to install pollution controls to reduce SO2 emissions.

“This is the latest example of Ameren thumbing its nose at the law and prioritizing profit over public health,” said Andy Knott, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Missouri. “Ameren has violated the Clean Air Act and continues to rely on old, outdated coal plants instead of cleaning them up or investing in cheap, clean energy that also creates jobs.”

Short-term exposure to SO2 can harm the human respiratory system and make breathing difficult. Children, the elderly, and those who suffer from asthma are particularly sensitive to effects of SO2.  SO2 emissions can also lead to formation of small particles in the air.  These particles may penetrate deeply into sensitive parts of the lungs and cause additional health problems.  A 2010 report by the Clean Air Task Force estimated that air pollution from the Rush Island plan contributes to 40 premature deaths, 61 heart attacks and 670 asthma attacks per year.

Chief Judge Rodney Sippel’s order states:  “I conclude the United States has established that Ameren should have expected, and did expect, the projects at Rush Island to increase unit availability…which enabled Ameren to run its units more, generate more electricity, and emit significantly more pollution….As a result, I conclude that the United States has established by a preponderance of the evidence that Ameren violated…the Clean Air Act.”  Judge Sippel also stated that he would be be entering a finding of liability against Ameren in the case and would set a status conference to establish remedies to the violations.

In 2013, EPA determined that portions of Jefferson County including the Rush Island plant failed to meet the public health standard for SO2 pollution. Rush Island is the largest source of SO2 pollution in the area, and it has no SO2 pollution controls.  Air quality modeling by Sierra Club and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has indicated that the Rush Island plant contributes to unhealthy air quality in the area.  Last month, Sierra Club urged EPA to reject Missouri DNR’s inadequate plan to bring the area into compliance and issue a federal plan to do so.
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.7 million members and supporters

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