Ameren's sale of five Illinois coal-fired power plants to Dynegy, Inc. will likely close next month. That after the Illinois Pollution Control board on Thursday granted Dynegy permission to defer the installation of multi-million dollar pollution controls for five years.
Ameren had agreed to the improvements years ago, but said approval of the environmental variance was a condition of the sale.
In a 3-1 vote, state regulators decided that forcing Dynegy to install the soot scrubbers immediately would "impose an arbitrary and unreasonable hardship."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri utility regulators have signed off an agreement involving Ameren Missouri over solar rebates.
Ameren Missouri asked the Public Service Commission last month for permission to suspend payment of the rebates.
The agreement approved Wednesday calls for the utility to continue the rebates up to a maximum of nearly $92 million. Ameren had paid nearly $22 million from August 2012 through October of this year.
Other parties to the agreement included the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association and the state office that represents utility customers before the PSC.
A 2008-voter approved law requires investor-owned utilities to derive a certain percentage of their electric generation from renewable resources. It caps rate increases derived from that measure at 1 percent.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says Ameren Corp. can sell five Illinois coal-fired plants to Houston-based Dynegy Inc. - though the deal still hinges on a pollution-control waiver.
Dynegy spokeswoman Katy Sullivan says the FERC approval came late Friday. She says it was an important milestone, but the sale could unravel unless the company gets approval from the Illinois Pollution Control Board to delay installing soot-control equipment required by state rules.
St. Louis-based Ameren Corp. already has a five-year waiver after claiming financial hardship. But the Pollution Control Board said it couldn't simply be transferred to Dynegy, which filed for its own.
Environmental groups say that the pollution-control upgrades are needed and that Dynegy was a willing buyer.
The Illinois panel is expected to make its decision next month.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri regulators have approved an infrastructure surcharge for natural gas customers of Ameren Missouri.
The Public Service Commission says the surcharge will cost residential customers 75 cents per month.
Ameren Missouri sought the surcharge for infrastructure improvements it has made since the start of 2011. Its costs for replacing and relocating natural gas pipelines are not included in its rates.
St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri has about nearly 127,000 natural gas customers in Missouri.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A labor coalition wants Illinois' pollution control board to waive pollution controls at coal-fired plants being sold by Ameren Corp.
The AFL-CIO is making its position known hours before the Illinois Pollution Control Board is set to meet in Springfield on Tuesday.
The AFL-CIO says that move by the board would provide certainty to employers and communities in central and southern Illinois. But environmental groups say pollution upgrades are needed.
Houston-based Dynegy wants to buy the plants from Ameren, which has a waiver that allowed it to delay installing soot-control equipment at the five plants.
The board refused to transfer the waiver to Dynegy, saying it must make its own case for a waiver. Dynegy says it will do so.
The board is expected to make a decision by November.
The company that's taking over Ameren's coal-fired power plants in Illinois wants to take over their 5 year pollution waiver as well.
Dynegy Inc. agreed to acquire the plants six months after the Illinois Pollution Control Board granted a variance giving Ameren more time to meet stricter air pollution limits at their central and southern Illinois plants.
Ameren and Dynegy are expected to argue that the subsidiary formed to acquire the plants can't afford the costly pollution controls in a depressed power market, and would have to close some plants if a waiver isn't granted.
It wasn't exactly a "beauty" pageant but local environmentalists say that was the idea as they held a mock pageant of their own. They gathered along the St Louis riverfront at Poplar Street and S. Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd to name what they consider the most dangerous toxic water polluters in St. Louis.
Members of the Sierra Club from St. Louis, Franklin and Jefferson counties held a “Miss and Mr. Toxic Water Pollution” pageant. Residents dressed in hazmat suits represented Ameren’s coal-fired power plants in the St. Louis metro area. They are trying to get the EPA's attention about what they say is the dumping of arsenic, lead, boron and selenium from Ameren Missouri’s Meramec, Sioux, Rush Island and Labadie coal-fired power plants into Missouri waterways.
The groups, Sierra Club Beyond Coal and Sierra Club Missouri say they want stronger federal standards limiting toxic water pollution from coal-fired power plants. The mock pageant coincides with a new national report released by a coalition of environmental and clean water groups, including the Sierra Club. The report reviewed nearly 400 coal plant water permits across the country and its findings highlight the need for strong national coal plant water pollution standards.
The environmental groups claim existing guidelines written to limit toxics discharged from coal plants do not cover many of the worst pollutants such as those discharged in the Mississippi, Missouri and Meramec Rivers, and have not been updated in more than 30 years.
In April 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first ever national standards for toxics dumped into waterways from coal plants.
The heat is on in St. Louis for the next several days and Ameren has teamed with local technicians to help you save money on your air conditioning.
With temperatures into the high 90's for the next several days, Ameren Missouri wants its customers to know you can get money back from everything from a tune up on your air conditioner to upgrading to an energy efficient unit. Cara Dolly says the utility has teamed with some 300 area contractors with rebates up to $720 on a new unit.
Local leaders have put out the call to those in need and to those who can help. Cool Down St. Louis and Ameren kicked off their annual summer program to keep elderly and disabled St. Louisans safe from the deadly heat.
Ameren donated the first 240 air conditioners with the hope that more units will be donated and more money raised to assist the most vulnerable members of the community.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says donations are critical to this program's success. "It is important to note that eventually, all the funds will be exhausted this year," Slay said. "And remind you that 100 percent of proceeds, 100 percent of private donations go directly to helping someone in need. There are no administrative costs that come out of our donations."
For more information about donating an air conditioning unit or giving a monetary donation, log on to CoolDownStLouis.org.
Monday's afternoon's storm and flooding left thousands without power in the St. Louis area. Ameren reports only a handful of homes and businesses remain without power Tuesday morning.
At the height of the Monday afternoon storm over 4,000 were without power in Missouri and another 1,000 in Illinois.
They were most heavily concentrated in Webster Groves and Affton. Lights were also out at several businesses at the intersection Hampton and Chippewa.
The greatest threat from the storms was flooding.
Some areas in and around St. Louis absorbed several inches of rain in short order. Flash flooding, a problem in several areas including South City on Kingshighway near Chippewa, where Jerry Ackerman says his Toyota showroom got a little wet. (Yeh, it kinda happened real quick here. The rain came down, water starts shooting out of the manholes and the next thing you know it's up to our front window here in the showroom.)
Ackerman says everything was fine until drivers ventured through the water, creating waves which pushed the H2O into his business. There was about three inches of water to mop up. Reporting in South St. Louis city, I'm Vicki Pimentel, KTRS news.