ST. LOUIS — The summer heat and pressure on the power grid have some customers worried about the potential for rolling blackouts.
The President of Ameren Missouri, Mark Birk, said their system is handling the heat with no problems.
“We have seen none of those issues. In fact, both sides of the river, our electrical systems have held up well. Both transmission and energy delivery, they’ve done excellent,” said Birk.
He said all their energy centers in Missouri are operating and they are in good condition.
Power grid concerns from the public have increased over the past few years. Birk said they are working through a transition phase as they bring more renewable energy onto the system and retire some of their energy sources that can be quickly turned on or off based on demand.
“We still have adequate capacity to serve all of our customer demand,” said Birk. “The system really is in good shape, it’s just the heat wave came early. We expect it to be hot in July and August, and we prepare for this time throughout the year.”
With the closing date for the Rush Island, coal plant moved up. Birk said it’s a procedure when a plant shuts down.
“There’s a process that you go through with the Midwest ISO that we’re part of, where they do a lot of analysis around reliability,” said Birk. “Before you shut it down, you have to be able to make sure they can do it in a reliable manner. Whether it’s Rush Island or any of our other plants. We have to go through the same process.”
Birk said Ameren’s system is built on diversity of supply, so they never rely on just one type of energy.
“We have nuclear energy. We have coal, we have gas, we have hydro, and wind, and solar, said Birk. “It’s geographically diverse, you kind of help ensure that you’ll always have enough to meet customer demand.”