COLLINSVILLE – Ameren Illinois announced today it will soon begin phase two of a two-year project that will enhance energy service reliability, flexibility and load capacity of the company's local electric grid for customers in Jersey and Macoupin counties.

In March, electricians will begin making equipment upgrades to the company's Jerseyville, Piasa Junction and Brighton substations. Ameren Illinois is adding high-voltage switching components to each substation to potentially reduce the duration of an outage allowing the company to re-route power between the three substations. The company is also expanding the Brighton and Piasa Junction substations. The investment is estimated to be $7.9 million.

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Piasa Junction Substation – Crews will build a brand new substation just to the north of the existing substation. The fence around the site will be expanded to accommodate the new substation. A new, 14MVA transformer will be installed along with other equipment such as smart switches to modernize the structure. The existing substation will be decommissioned and removed.

Jerseyville Substation – Crews will be installing new 69-kilovolt breakers and switches to the substation to help re-route power between the local substations.

Brighton Substation – Crews will expand the site to the north and east. Two H-frame steel structures will be constructed as the location will be converted into a 69-34-12 kilovolt substation with supporting equipment. A new transformer and control house structure will also be added to the site.

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In 2020, crews safely replaced power lines and approximately 300 power poles covering 13.5 miles between Jerseyville and Brighton. A new three-mile circuit tie was also constructed between the Piasa and Brighton substations. The circuit tie makes the grid more resilient and enables the company to re-route power between the two substations during an outage. This phase of the project was a $10.5 million investment.

More than 50 composite fiberglass poles were erected at strategic points along the 13.5-mile route to storm harden the lines to able to better withstand high winds during storms.

"The upgrades are part of our overall statewide plan to build a cleaner, greener, more resilient grid," said Kim Voypick, Director of Western Region Electric Operations, Ameren Illinois. "With these enhancements, Ameren Illinois is taking proactive steps to prepare for the future needs of our electric customers. We're excited to bring these enhancements to our customers in Jersey and Macoupin counties."

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, added new technology and strengthened poles, wires and distribution equipment. As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 22 percent and the time of an outage has been reduced by 16 percent.

About Ameren Illinois

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. Our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.

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