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LaSalle Link Project

Ameren Illinois is proposing the LaSalle Link Project to improve energy reliability for local customers in the LaSalle County area. This Project includes the construction of a new 138 kV transmission line to connect the new Corbin substation in Oglesby, Illinois to the existing North Utica substation near North Utica, Illinois. Our goal is to have this new line in service and providing benefits to the local community by the summer of 2025.

 

Overview

 

Routing

Community Benefits

As we continue to serve and invest in our communities, new projects — like the LaSalle Link Project – allow us to continue supporting the needs of our customers in your area.

  • Improve local energy reliability by creating additional pathways to support current and future energy needs
  • Help minimize power outage impacts to the local communities
  • Support expansion needed for continued area growth
  • Upgrade aging substations
      

Public and Stakeholder Involvement 

We have been engaging with community members, landowners, and stakeholders to learn as much as we can about LaSalle County to develop a better overall project for this area. Our first series of engagement was June 20 – June 29, 2022, to gather input on the Route Segments. All input received was reviewed and considered during the development of the Preliminary Route Alternatives. The second series of engagement was July 26 – August 3 and was used to gather input on the Preliminary Route Alternatives. We appreciate everyone’s participation during each phase of engagement. Join our project email list to receive updates on the project. If you were unable to participate in any of the phases of engagement – connect with our project team today.

Next Steps

All comments that have been collected are currently being reviewed and considered by our project team as a part of the routing process. The project team plans to continue to gather information on the shown Preliminary Routes to further develop a proposed route(s) that adheres to our routing criteria- opportunities, sensitivities, and technical guidelines. Dependent upon this routing criteria process and the LaSalle community's input, we anticipate filing a final proposed route or a primary and an alternate route with the Illinois Commerce Commission fall 2022.

Project Schedule 

2022: Data Collection and Design

  • Gather public, stakeholder and agency input
  • Final route(s) identified
  • File final route(s) with Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC)
 

2023: Surveys and Real Estate

  • Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) decision
  • Engineering and permitting
  • Environmental surveys and permitting
  • Easement acquisition process
 

2024: Preconstruction and Construction

  • Preconstruction activities
  • Construction begins
 

2025: Construction

  • Project in Service 

*All items shown are pending regulatory approvals. Schedule is subject to change.

Maps

Interactive Project Area Map

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LaSalle Link Project Maps

For a high-level overview of the LaSalle Link Project, view the PDFs below.

Preliminary Route Alternatives - July 2022 (PDF)

Route Segments - June 2022 (PDF)

Study Area - June 2022 (PDF)

Printable Detailed Area Maps

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View Map

Have a question for our team?

Leave Us a Message

Hotline: 815.745.4368

Mail Us

Ameren Illinois Pioneer Park Operating Center
Attn: LaSalle Link Project
8420 N. University Street
Peoria, IL 61615

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Ameren Illinois is proposing the LaSalle Link Project to improve energy reliability for local customers in the LaSalle County area. This Project includes the construction of a new 138 kV transmission line to connect the new Corbin substation in Oglesby, Illinois to the existing North Utica substation near North Utica, Illinois. Our goal is to have this new line in service and providing benefits to the local community by the summer of 2025.
Communities in the LaSalle County area are currently supported by two Ameren Illinois 138 kV transmission lines that serve as the backbone for the energy system. Continuing to rely on these transmission sources could, in the event of a failure, result in power limitations or power outages, that result in extended restoration times and community-wide impacts. As we continue to serve, support and invest in our communities, new projects — like the LaSalle Link Project – allow us to continue supporting future energy needs.

The LaSalle Link Project will be complete by summer of 2025.

Ameren Illinois is currently in the public outreach phase. There will be ongoing outreach with stakeholders, landowners and residents, businesses and other community members before, during and after construction. Our schedule currently anticipates construction starting as early as spring 2024.

Ameren performed a detailed study of the energy system supplying the LaSalle County area. The study identified redundancy and reliability concerns and the need for reinforcements to continue providing safe, reliable and environmentally safe energy to our customers. Multiple alternatives were evaluated, and we ultimately selected a plan to construct an additional138,000-volt transmission line in the area. We believe this is the most efficient solution that will increase the resiliency of the local energy system. The LaSalle Link Project meets Ameren's reliability standards and provides the long-term capability to meet the energy demands of our local communities.
The total investment, including line and substation upgrades, is currently estimated to cost $31 million.

We anticipate using galvanized steel monopole structures. The structures will range between 80- 120 feet tall, depending on terrain. We estimate 7-8 structures per mile with an average span range of 700-800 feet between structures. The average steel monopole structures will have drilled pier, concrete foundations with diameters ranging between 6-10 feet and depths ranging from 25-35 feet for most structures, depending on structural loading and soil conditions. The foundations will have a 2 feet projection from grade. The conductors will meet or exceed the minimum clearance of 21 feet to grade required by the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).

Currently, there are existing Ameren transmission corridors in the Lasalle County area that may provide an opportunity to co-locate the new LaSalle Link line with the existing lines. We are currently studying these potential corridors and lines as opportunities based upon several factors including operations, constructability, cost and design standards. During the routing process as we gather stakeholder feedback, consult with agencies and apply technical guidelines, we will further determine the final route structure design including size and number of arms.

Routing

Developing a transmission route is a phased process that involves the collection of information to understand and identify opportunities and sensitivities within Lasalle County. Over a series of public open houses, we'll gather data about the project area and begin to narrow down route corridors through opportunities and sensitivities that meet technical guidelines. During this collaborative process of working with agencies, community members and landowners, Ameren Illinois will develop a constructible route that minimize impacts to be filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).

After collecting data and input from the community through our public outreach and planning phases, one or more routes will be developed and filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) as a part of Ameren Illinois' request for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).

Once a CPCN is granted, it will include details of the ICC approved final route. Ameren Illinois representatives will begin contacting landowners for the purpose of conducting good faith negotiations for an easement for the new line. Details of the Project, what property rights are needed, location of the easement and compensation will be discussed with each landowner. Landowners will receive a one-time easement payment. Payment is made in the form of a check, at the time of or shortly after the time that each landowner provides an executed easement to Ameren Illinois. In most cases, landowners will be offered an advanced payment (by Ameren Illinois at the time of easement payment) for anticipated crop loss and restoration of crop land.

The requested easement width for the LaSalle Link Project will be 100 feet. Access roads to the right-of-way for construction and maintenance at various points along the line often require additional easement agreements, which may be permanent or temporary. Should these be required, landowners will be compensated for any additional usage of their property.

Public and Stakeholder Involvement

Ameren Illinois is developing the LaSalle Link Project in a collaborative manner with landowners, community officials and agencies to develop a constructible route that minimize impacts. Ameren Illinois will gather and review input from stakeholders prior to filing proposed route(s) with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).

STAGE

MEETINGS

DATE 

1. Study Area Community Representatives Forum (CRF) May 2022
2. Route Segments Round 1 of Public Open Houses June 2022
3. Alternative Routes Round 2 of Public Open Houses July 2022
The public process is meant to engage landowners with our team so that we can learn as much as we can about LaSalle County. During this process, stakeholders and LaSalle County communities can learn about the need and benefits of the project, discuss questions/issues with our project team and provide input on sensitivities and opportunities to help our team improve the routing and siting process. We look forward to the public's input in understanding the project area from the community's perspective. From this invaluable information, our goal is to develop a better overall project.
We expect to submit our petition to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in fall 2022. Following the ICC’s review, we anticipate a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the route in early 2023, which will allow us to begin easement acquisition and our final engineering to prepare for construction.
Complete our online form to submit comment. Please be sure to provide all your contact information, including email or phone number and a team representative will get back to you.
Complete our online form to join our mailing list. Let us know if you would prefer to receive mailed or emailed updates.

Environmental

Ameren Illinois will coordinate with various environmental related agencies such as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Office and other local interest groups. We'll be working with these agencies and organizations throughout the development of the LaSalle Link Project.
Ameren Illinois uses an avian-safe structure design and flight diverters where necessary as part of our corporate Avian Protection Plan to minimize impacts to migratory birds and meet regulatory requirements.
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