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Ameren replaces Boonville transformer

More than 100,000 pounds sail through the air as Ameren gently lifts a new 22-mega watt transformer into place.

Ameren crews replaced a Boonville transformer with one that supplies more power. Currently, the transformer powers Boonville, Pilot Grove and Jamestown.

“We’ve gotten enough load growth in the area, enough new customers that we needed to increase the reliability, increase the transformer size to where we have more of a buffer for more load to come in,” said Jason Haynam, Ameren project engineer.

Ameren spent much of Tuesday replacing the transformer in a Boonville substation. It’s part of a $2.6 million project that’s taken around 18 months to plan. The new transformer is replacing a 14-megawatt transformer that was installed in the 1930s.

“if we were to have some sort of problem with the 22, we couldn’t carry everything with the 14 — it couldn’t handle all the load,” said Haynam.

Haynam said the transformer can handle the load and will provide more dependable service for customers during and outage or maintenance.

“If something were to happen to one of them, you don’t have all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, everything is split between two units. If one unit fails, only half the area would see an outage, but we’d quickly transfer everybody over to the other one,” said Haynam.

Replacing the Boonville transformer was phase one of the project. Ameren engineers said the new transformer will supply power to the New Franklin area after the project is completed in July.

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