Illinois Rivers Project
10:05 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Ameren Choosing Corridor for Transmission Line

Ameren Choosing Corridor for Transmission Line

Ameren wants to build a transmission line from eastern Missouri to western Indiana. It would run right through Illinois -- including portions of this region -- and is called the Illinois Rivers Project.

The first step for the company is to decide on the best route for the 330 mile line, which it said is needed to distribute renewable energy generated in the Dakotas. Leigh Morris of Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois said that power cannot get here without the new line.

The line would be located within a 40 mile corridor that includes portions of Adams, Pike, Brown, Schuyler, Fulton, Mason, Cass, Morgan and Scott Counties.

Morris said a plan must be submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission that designates the company's top two preferred routes.

“The commission could choose to approve the primary (route), an alternate, modify one of those two routes and approve it, or -- theoretically at least -- come up with an entirely new routing itself.  All of those are options,” said Morris.

The proposed new transmission line will include a branch running from Meredosia to Ipava.

24 open houses are being held to gather input that Ameren said will be used to help it choose the best route within the corridor. A schedule can be found on the Illinois Rivers Project website.

“For us to come up with the best possible routes, we need maximum public input. We want to hear from people,” Morris said. He said those who cannot attend one of the open houses can provide input on the website.

Potential route alternatives will be unveiled in July and the company's proposed routes will be made public in September or October. Morris said landowners will be notified if their property is impacted by one of the possible routes.

Ameren hopes to take its plan to the ICC in November.

“If all goes well, we'll hear an answer from them mid-year next year -- 2013 -- with construction beginning in 2015,” said Peggy Ladd, Manager, Ameren Transmission Business Development.

The first segment would go into service in 2016 and the entire operation would be up and running by 2019.