ATXI receives necessary approvals from five county commissions in northeast Missouri

With the blessing of the five county commissions in the path of a proposed electric project, Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) has selected a final route for the Mark Twain Transmission Project, a 345,000-volt transmission line and substation to be built in northeast Missouri. The approximately 100-mile route will be nearly 100 percent co-located on existing right of way. ATXI now must obtain final approval from the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) before commencing construction.

The route will run through Adair, Knox, Lewis, Marion and Schuyler counties and includes construction of the Zachary Substation adjacent to the existing Adair Substation in Adair County. Specifically, the route will co-locate on existing right of way on Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative’s (Northeast Power) 161,000-volt line between Palmyra and Kirksville and Ameren Missouri’s 161,000-volt line from Kirksville to the Iowa border.

“The final route was selected based on feedback from landowners and community members during the past several months,” said Shawn E. Schukar, chairman and president of ATXI.

As part of the project, approximately 59 miles of Northeast Power’s 161,000-volt transmission line – running between Palmyra and Kirksville – will be completely rebuilt. ATXI will remove the current wooden H-frame transmission facilities and replace them with new steel structures, the vast majority of which will be monopole in design. ATXI will pay for the poles, insulators and hardware.

“Due to the age of Northeast Power’s current 161,000-volt line, it would need to be replaced within 10 to 15 years at a cost of approximately $30 million,” said Douglas Aeilts, CEO and general manager, Northeast Power. “Working with ATXI on this co-location project allows Northeast Power to save a significant amount of money while enhancing the reliability of our transmission system.”

Landowners living along the existing Northeast Power and Ameren Missouri lines will benefit from less burden on farmland – due to the reduced number of poles and the elimination of guy wires and anchors – and new easement payments.

ATXI expects to invest approximately $250 million in this project, which is scheduled to be placed in-service in December 2019.

In mid-September, ATXI will file for a certificate of convenience and necessity with the Missouri Public Service Commission for the Mark Twain Transmission Project. ATXI hopes to receive an order of approval from the PSC in the first quarter 2018.

The Marion County Commission gave its assent for the project in August. Assent became a critical part of this project when a Missouri Court of Appeals overturned the PSC's original approval of the project, thereby saying county commissions must first give assent before a project can be approved. At the time, the five counties did not give assent to ATXI for the project.

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