Wright City

New Ameren substation could eliminate power outages for Wright City residents

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 12/25/23

Wright City residents should see more reliable electricity and few power outages from a new Ameren Missouri substation near the Warren County line.

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Wright City

New Ameren substation could eliminate power outages for Wright City residents


Ameren Missouri is in the process of getting a new substation online that will benefit residents of Wright City.

It’s part of an investment of more than $23 million that will support increased reliability for 2,700 customers and the expected growth in the region.

The energy company had a short ceremony Dec. 14 as they installed the new transformers and switcher at the substation in Foristell, just a few feet from the Warren County line.

“We’re building a new distribution substation and what a substation is, it takes power from our sub-transmission grid and converts it to what we call our distribution grid that supplies our neighborhoods and our towns,” Ken Worland, Ameren’s northeast Missouri division director, said. “The technology that we’re using here is much more modern than many of our older associations.”

The project is helping to support reliability and load growth between Wentzville and Wright City along the St. Charles and Warren county lines.

In addition to the new Foristell substation, the project includes upgrades to an existing bulk substation at Highway W and U.S. 61, 10 miles of new distribution lines, and approximately 500 new wood and composite poles.

That was the most impressive part to Wright City Director of City Services Mark Strutman, who was in attendance at the ceremony.

“The new technology is amazing,” he said.

Worland said the new substation is equipped with smart technology, which includes automatic sensing and restoration, which will help prevent long power outages. The new lines and poles will increase the reliability and resiliency of the system to better withstand severe weather.

The smart technology creates a system that can more rapidly detect and isolate damage, speeding up power restoration.

“It’ll bring a lot of reliability and dependability to our customers,” Worland said. “It’s very helpful when the storms and other natural disasters hit to keep the power flowing.”

Similar projects in other parts of the state have prevented prolonged outages for about 50,000 customers.

“And that’s the benefit that we’re going to see here in this area,” Worland said.

Multiple independent power supplies flow into the new substation, Worland said, which means if something would happen to one power supply – say, a semi drives into a utility pole as happened in Warrenton in late November – a separate supply would automatically kick in to feed the substation.

Worland said that means customers should see less than a second of power interruption.

“Power would be restored automatically without human intervention, and very quickly,” he said.

The new substation is also prepared to handle the population growth expected in Warren County.

“We forecast what we think the electrical load will be in the future,” Worland said. “That’s the reason we’re building this substation now, to meet that future load.”

Strutman said he believed Wright City and its residents would greatly benefit from the new substation.

“I think the higher technology and the more advancements that we have to take care of the citizens there, it’s going to make more people want to move to Wright City,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2024.

About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at jason@warrencountyrecord.com

wright city, ameren, power, substation, foristell