Illinois' electric modernization plan approved by legislature; bill heads to
Gov. Quinn's desk
SB 9 unleashes $625 million for infrastructure improvements and creates
hundreds of jobs for central and southern Illinois
COLLINSVILLE, Ill., March 21, 2013
COLLINSVILLE, Ill., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois House of
Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation today that creates
hundreds of jobs for Central and Southern Illinois and modernizes Illinois'
electric grid aimed at improving reliability and reducing outages. Senate Bill
9 clarifies a 2011 law that significantly accelerated upgrades to the state's
aging electric infrastructure. The measure, which passed the Senate last week,
now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk for approval.
"I would like to personally thank Speaker Madigan and Senate President
Cullerton for their leadership to help modernize Illinois' energy
infrastructure," said Richard Mark, president and CEO of Ameren Illinois.
"It's clear that the Leadership and members of the General Assembly recognize
the benefits of creating jobs, improving reliability and building a 21st
Century energy delivery system.This legislation will help put thousands of
people to work statewide to modernize the state's electrical grid, which will
ultimately reduce costs for customers."
Under the 2011 modernization law, Ameren Illinois launched its Modernization
Action Plan (MAP) to create 450 jobs and invest an additional $625 million
over a 10-year period to improve the reliability and performance of its
electric delivery infrastructure. The utility initiated plans to hire hundreds
of new workers, strengthen poles, replace cables and deploy new technology
such as intelligent switches and sensors that candetect and isolate outages
for faster service restoration. However, many of the MAP projects and hiring
plans were delayed when state regulators would not enable the investments to
be fully recovered by the company. Predictable cost recovery is needed to
enable the utilities to raise capital and borrow money at reasonable rates to
make long-term investments and modernization plans.
"Senate Bill 9 will inject new life into economies in Central and Southern
Illinois," said Mark, who thanked the broad coalition of labor unions,
employers and contractors for their support.
"The Illinois AFL-CIO strongly supports SB 9. We urge Gov. Quinn to sign it
into law," added Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael T.Carrigan. "The electric
grid modernization and the proposed Natural Gas Modernization, Public Safety
and Jobs Act (SB 1665 – Sen. Dave Koehler and HB 2414 – Rep. Brandon Phelps)
are as important to growing the central and southern Illinois economy as
upgrading our roads, bridges, airports, and water systems.Residents, small
business owners and local governments will pay more tomorrow if we defer our
obligations to invest in our infrastructure today."
Strong regulatory oversight and consumer protections remain in the electric
legislation, which holds participating utilities to strict performance
metrics. As a result, customers will see increased reliability, faster
restoration times after outages, reductions in estimated bills, and
opportunities to exercise cost-saving control of the energy they use.
"We have a unique opportunity to position Illinois as a national leader in
energy innovation," Mark said. "We urge the Governor to enact SB 9. Together
we can fulfill the mission to create 'Illinois Jobs Now'."
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 813,000 natural
gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy
needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner.
Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles.
For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com or find us on Twitter
@AmerenIllinois.com. For more information on the Natural Gas Modernization,
Public Safety and Jobs Act, visit EnergyFutureIL.com.
SOURCE Ameren Illinois
Contact: Leigh Morris, +1-217-535-5228, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tucker Kennedy,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.