Missouri utility regulators have given approval for what Ameren Missouri calls the most aggressive energy efficiency plan ever in the state.
Under the plan approved Wednesday by the Missouri Public Service Commission, Ameren will invest $147 million over three years in several programs that seek to reduce electricity use by 800 million megawatt-hours.
The plan was part of a negotiated settlement among Ameren, PSC staff, consumer advocates and environmental groups.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) has announced the formation of a task force to help Missouri land a federal grant to build small modular nuclear reactors, or SMR’s.
The task force is made up of officials from counties adjacent to Ameren Missouri’s Callaway County nuclear plant, which would build the reactors in a joint project with Westinghouse. Nixon says it’s important to have input from local-level officials.
The proposal is designed to promote energy efficiency while still allowing the St. Louis-based utility to earn a profit. It has an estimated price tag of $145 million and it would be paid by the utility’s customers, whose residential bills on average would be about $3 a month higher. But Ameren Missouri’s Warren Wood says if approved, customers would save money in the long run.
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.
Ameren Illinois has a new Chairman, President and CEO. Effective immediately, Richard Mark, 57, replaces Scott Cisel, who has "left the company to pursue other interests."
The move is an internal one for Ameren, as Mark jumps over the Mississippi from his former post as senior vice president of customer operations for Ameren Missouri. He's been with the company since 2002.
Shifting into Mark's old spot is Michael Moehn, who will leave a similar post at Ameren Illinois.
The two companies have teamed up to pursue up to $452 million from Washington to build up to five Small Modular Reactors, or SMR’s, at Ameren’s Callaway County plant. Joseph Zwetolitz is President of the Americas division of Westinghouse. He says SMR’s would be safer than the traditional nuclear reactor.
“This reactor is almost entirely underground, which provides an additional level of safety, with regards to potential postulated accidents, deliberate attacks, tornadoes, those kind of things," Zwetolitz said.