Ameren Transmission to begin series of public meetings on Illinois River project

Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATX) will begin a series of more than 60 public open houses May 14 to discuss the proposed 331-mi Illinois Rivers 345-kV transmission project.

The company is required to hold at least three public meetings in each county the line is proposed to traverse in Illinois, and the Illinois Rivers project is planned to pass through 21 counties, an ATX spokesperson told TransmissionHub on April 30.

Those meetings will take the form of open houses, with the first to be held in the cities of Franklin and Waverly, Ill. All such meetings will include information on real estate requirements, engineering and environmental issues, maps and possible routes, according to the spokesperson.

“We want the public to be fully aware of where it’s being done, why it’s being done and when it’s being done,” the spokesperson said.

Illinois Rivers is part of Phase 1 of the Grand Rivers Project, and is classified as a multi-value project (MVP) within the Midwest ISO MTEP11 planning process, according to TransmissionHub data.   

As proposed, the project would start in Palmyra, Miss., pass through central Illinois, and end in Sugar Creek, Ind., near Terre Haute. The company is proposing the project, which is estimated to cost between $890m and $1.4bn, to assure system reliability, to meet future demand in the region, and for delivery and integration of renewable generation.

The exact routing will be determined using input obtained during the open houses.

“We carefully consider the input we receive as we develop proposed routes for the new transmission line, paying special attention to siting sensitivities identified through the public meetings, as well as siting opportunities,” according to the company’s project web site.

The company expects to file an application for approval with the Illinois Commerce Commission this fall, after the meetings have been completed.

Approvals from the Missouri Public Service Commission and Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will also be required; however, the public notification processes are different in Missouri and Indiana, according to the spokesperson.

The earliest the line could be placed in service is 2016, according to the project’s web site.

Ameren Transmission Company Illinois is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameren Corp. (NYSE:AEE)