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Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois (ATXI) has received approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to build the majority of a $1.1 billion transmission project, which the company says will enable the delivery of renewable energy and improve grid reliability.

The nearly 400-mile Illinois Rivers project consists of a new 345 kV transmission line crossing the Mississippi River near Quincy, Ill., and continuing east across Illinois to the Indiana border. Right-of-way acquisitions for the approved portions of the project are expected to begin immediately with a full range of construction activities in 2014.

"This project will help fuel the Illinois economy and provide customers access to a variety of energy sources, including wind energy," says Maureen A. Borkowski, president and CEO of ATXI.

The ICC agreed with and supported the need for this new line and granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity for seven of nine proposed segments on the route and three of nine proposed bulk substations. ATXI is moving forward on the approved portions of the project.

The ICC noted the remaining two segments were not approved due to lack of time and evidence to determine the most cost-effective route. ATXI plans to request a rehearing to determine the appropriate routing of the two segments and the location and need for the substations that were not approved.

The project previously received approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc.




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