Ameren Missouri says it can take the heat | St. Louis Public Radio

Ameren Missouri says it can take the heat

Jul 2, 2012

Thermostats turned to extra low and the blistering heat has put added stress on Ameren Missouri's power system.

There have been a handful of small power outages throughout the region, but so far nothing major.  And looking at a week of triple digit high temperatures, Ameren Missouri says it’s ready to take on the extended heat wave.

 “We expect that we’re going to be able to provide all the needs to our customers from an energy basis," says Vice President of Energy Delivery for Ameren Missouri Dave Wakeman.   "We want our customers to use the energy they need to run their business and keep their houses cool.”

“We fully anticipate the load that’s coming on we’re prepared for it, and we’re really prepared for if something does happen to respond to the needs of our customers.”

As for the small outages that have occurred, Wakeman says there hasn’t been any pattern to the equipment failure.

"It's really just been random equipment that fails here and there. What we're able to do is identify the equipment, put a plan in place to switch and restore power that way quickly,” Wakeman says.  “Or, do our best to repair that equipment.  So that's really a judgment call on each one, and that what's really being prepared is all about."  

Ameren says power usage has averaged around 8500 megawatts since the start of the heat wave. That's close to 3,000 megawatts shy of the all-time record set on July 3, 2007.

Ameren Missouri plants produce around 10,500 megawatts a day, according to a company spokesman.

Wakeman also spoke during a media event for a new partnership between the utility company and the military to provide soldiers and their families with money for utility bills.

Ameren Missouri has set aside $200,000 to help members of the military pay their utility bills.

Sgt. First Class Drew Ishmael of St. Louis says for young soldiers with families the credit will go a long way.

“When I was a PFC, $500 or $1000 would have been a godsend,” Ishmael says. “So, what they’re doing is amazing for soldiers and amazing for the public private partnership.”

The utility company says 400 military families may qualify for the $500 dollar credit and can sign up by contacting the Missouri National Guard Family Program Office. 

The credit extends to all members of the military within Ameren Missouri’s service area, which includes 500 towns and 63 counties.