Ameren (NYSE:AEE) on May 2 said that Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI), in collaboration with Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative (Northeast Power) and Ameren Missouri, have proposed a new route for the Mark Twain Transmission Project that would use the existing right of way (ROW) of Northeast Power and Ameren Missouri.
The proposed new route would minimize impact to landowners, communities, and existing farmland, the company said, noting that the new route would result in fewer utility structures along the existing ROW.
The proposed new route would run through Adair, Knox, Lewis, Marion, and Schuyler counties in Missouri, and includes construction of the Zachary substation near Kirksville, Mo., Ameren said.
“After listening to community members, landowners, county commissioners and other local and state representatives, we evaluated new route options for the project,” Shawn Schukar, the new chairman and president of ATXI, said in the statement. “Working together with Northeast Power, we are proposing an option that addresses the concerns we heard. We believe the new route will achieve the intended project benefits of economic growth, increased tax revenue, greater reliability and improved access to clean energy sources for the region.”
Almost 90% of the proposed route would use existing ROW on Northeast Power’s 161-kV line between Palmyra and Kirksville, and Ameren Missouri’s 161-kV line from Kirksville to the Iowa border, the company said.
New ROW would be sought in Adair County to connect the Zachary and Adair substations, as well as in Marion County to connect to the Maywood substation, Ameren said.
As noted on the company’s website, the Mark Twain Transmission Project is a new, approximately 100-mile, 345-kV transmission line to be built in northeast Missouri. The project, which includes construction of a new substation near Kirksville, is necessary to promote grid reliability, relieve congestion to the energy grid, meet local energy needs, and promote renewable energy, according to the site.
If the proposed new route is approved, about 55 miles of Northeast Power’s 161-kV transmission line – running between Palmyra and Kirksville – would be completely rebuilt, Ameren said, noting that ATXI would remove the current wooden H-frame transmission facilities and replace them with new steel monopoles. ATXI would pay for the poles, insulators and hardware, the company said.
ATXI would also completely rebuild Ameren Missouri’s line between Kirksville and the Iowa border, Ameren said, adding that landowners living along the existing Northeast Power and Ameren Missouri lines would benefit from less burden on farmland and new easement payments.
ATXI expects to invest about $250m in the project, which is planned to be placed in service in December 2019, Ameren said.
Noting that input from landowners will be gathered, and that approval from Adair, Knox, Lewis, Marion, and Schuyler counties is needed to proceed with the new route, the company said that open houses for landowners who live along the proposed new route are scheduled for mid-June.