Company files updated plan to increase investments
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), filed an updated Smart Energy Plan with the Missouri Public Service Commission. This five-year plan increases investments to $7.6 billion in continued grid modernization while leveraging the successes from the first year.
"We are keeping our customers at the center of everything we do," said Marty Lyons, president of Ameren Missouri. "The Smart Energy Plan means investment in state-of-the-art technology, equipment and controls to reduce outages and restore power faster when they happen. We've been able to continue our system upgrades and create significant jobs while lowering rates over the last two years."
To continue the transition to a cleaner energy future for everyone, Ameren Missouri expects to acquire two wind facilities this year. Clean solar generation is also part of the plan. This includes modernizing the energy grid to add more solar energy and battery storage on the system to boost reliability in rural areas.
Ameren Missouri will install 120,000 smart electric meters this year starting in St. Charles. The smart meter rollout extends through 2025 when all Ameren Missouri customers are expected to have been upgraded to smart meters that can provide two-way system communication. Customers will have up-to-date information about energy usage about their home or business. When customers have more information about their energy usage, they can make better informed decisions.
Last year, Ameren Missouri completed more than 900 projects across the state to bring smart technology and modern infrastructure to the electric grid. Examples of upgrades across Missouri include:
- 9,000 new storm-resilient utility poles
- 180+ smart switches to reduce outages
- 13 new or upgraded substations to serve growing communities and improve reliability
In St. Louis, patients and doctors will now see fewer outages when every minute counts. With three separate projects completed, 10,000 local residents, businesses and hospitals benefit from a state-of-the-art substation, 10.5 miles of upgraded power lines and 200 stronger utility poles able to better withstand storms. These upgrades mean better reliability for three critical medical facilities, including a Level I Trauma Center and a children's specialty care center.
In Jefferson City, Ameren Missouri installed an underground electric system in downtown to quickly detect outages and re-route power – taking potential outages at the local courthouse, state offices and police department from hours to seconds. The new system has two-way communication with the Ameren Missouri network enabling faster storm restoration.
"Ameren Missouri will continue to invest in smart technology to provide reliable energy for our customers while also bringing them clean, renewable sources of power," said Lyons. "This plan helps customers now and for generations to come."
To learn more, visit AmerenMissouri.com/SmartEnergyPlan.
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 130,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward- looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed under Risk Factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, and elsewhere in this release and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:
- regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, and any changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, that may change regulatory recovery mechanisms, such as Ameren Missouri's electric regulatory rate review filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission in July 2019;
- the effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, and energy policies;
- the effects of changes in federal, state, or local tax laws, regulations, interpretations, or rates, including as a result of amendments or technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and challenges to our tax positions, if any;
- our ability to align overall spending, both operating and capital, with frameworks established by our regulators and to recover these costs in a timely manner in our attempt to earn our allowed return on equity;
- disruptions of the capital markets, deterioration in our credit metrics, or other events that may have an adverse effect on the cost or availability of capital, including short-term credit and liquidity;
- the actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions;
- the inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments;
- the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
- Ameren Missouri's ability to acquire wind and other renewable energy generation facilities and recover its cost of investment and related return in a timely manner, which is affected by the ability to obtain all necessary project approvals; the ability of developers to meet contractual commitments and timely complete projects, which is dependent upon the availability of necessary materials and equipment, among other things; the availability of federal production and investment tax credits related to renewable energy and Ameren Missouri's ability to use such credits; the cost of wind and solar generation technologies; and Ameren Missouri's ability to obtain timely interconnection agreements with MISO or other RTOs at an acceptable cost for each facility;
- the impact of negative opinions of us or our utility services that our customers, investors, legislators, or regulators, may have or develop, which could result from a variety of factors, including failures in system reliability, failure to implement our investment plans or to protect sensitive customer information, increases in rates, negative media coverage, or concerns about environmental, social, and/or governance practices;
- legal and administrative proceedings; and
- acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, or other intentionally disruptive acts.
New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.
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SOURCE Ameren Missouri