Ameren invests $9 million in upgrades after tornado devastation nearly three years ago



Ameren Missouri replaced more than 125 utility poles and restored power to thousands of customers after a tornado swept through Missouri nearly three years ago.

The company has invested more than $9 million in upgrades in Jefferson City and the Eldon area, Ameren executives told reporters Wednesday morning. The company says its “Smart Energy” plan provides better electrical system protection in the Jefferson City area than in 2019, when a tornado hit those towns, severely damaging electrical infrastructure.

Through its Smart Energy Plan, the company has installed 90 smart switches in central Missouri since 2019. According to Ameren, smart switches are installed on utility poles to better detect and isolate damage, reroute power where possible , reduce outages and speed up power restoration.

Smart switches can also offer up to 40% improved reliability on the circuits where they are installed, says Ameren.

The company says it is currently working on retrofitting two substations in Jefferson City with smart, automated switchgear. This will create a system that quickly detects and isolates faults and speeds power restoration, says Ameren.

The upgrades are expected to improve the reliability of 4,500 customers served by these substations.

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