A major Midwestern energy company has joined a regional effort to share critical transmission equipment when the power grid needs it most. Ameren Corp. — which includes Ameren Illinois, Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois and Ameren Missouri — announced last month it was joining the RESTORE (Regional Equipment Sharing for Transmission Outage Restoration) program, a privately organized, binding agreement to share transmission transformers in the wake of a disaster. Ameren is now one of 28 companies that span the Southeast, Midwest and Appalachian regions participating in the program.
A Chicago-area startup is garnering the attention of major industry players with a cloud-based platform for settling energy trades in the decentralized, digital 21st century.
The concept of the power grid as a “platform” — a hub that coordinates energy transactions between various producers and consumers rather than a one-way delivery system — is central to the way Illinois is building a blueprint for its grid of the future.
Illinois utilities and regulators are putting into motion plans for community solar programs under the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act that passed last year.
A recent report highlighting the expansion of the clean-energy workforce in Illinois reflects a broader trend toward a Midwestern power system that is more networked, more decentralized, and more dependent on solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.