March 15 The Illinois Senate voted to put the
state's electric grid modernization efforts back on track to
improve reliability and create jobs, the local unit of U.S.
power company Ameren Corp said.
In 2011, the Illinois legislature passed a law that provided
incentives for utilities like Ameren Illinois to upgrade the
state's electric infrastructure.
Ameren Illinois said in a release late on Thursday that it
had committed to spend $625 million and add about 450 jobs over
10 years to install automated sensors to detect outages and
advanced metering, and construct a new training center, among
But Ameren said it postponed the deployment of some projects
after the Illinois Commerce Commission, which regulates the
state's utilities, reduced the company's funding.
"Simply put, this legislation enables us to fill the jobs we
have available and make the full breadth of needed
infrastructure improvements because we'll have certainty that
these investments will be recovered," Ameren Illinois Chief
Executive Officer Richard Mark said in the release.
A companion bill was approved by the House Public Utilities
Committee this week by a vote of 21-0, Ameren said. The full
House is expected take up the measure later this session.
Exelon Corp's Commonwealth Edison unit is the other
big power company in Illinois that will also upgrade its
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and
813,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois.