ICC approves Ameren MAP, but financing hangs in the balance
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has approved Ameren Illinois' advanced metering infrastructure initiative as part of Ameren's Illinois Modernization Action Plan (MAP) and full implementation of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA).
The advanced meters, working together with a new advanced electricity distribution system, can help identify distribution line and transformer overload issues that can be corrected before an outage occurs. Advanced meters will enable electric dispatchers to better pinpoint the location of outages without outages being reported, helping to reduce the number and duration of outages.
However, funding for these upgrades is still a point of contention with the ICC. Last week the Illinois Senate passed Senate Resolution 821, calling on the ICC to comply with 2011 EIMA legislation which provides incentives for investor-owned utilities to make significant upgrades and investments to the electric distribution grid while meeting performance metrics and creating new jobs. The Illinois House passed a similar resolution in support of EIMA last summer. Until the dispute is resolved, funding for these capital investments hangs in the balance.
"We will be proceeding cautiously until Illinois utilities have the financial certainty needed to move forward with much-needed enhancements to the state's electric grid," said Ameren Illinois president and CEO Richard J. Mark. "As the ICC continues to disregard the important requirements of EIMA, utilities will not have the resources to fully implement these necessary system improvements."
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