Ameren hydroelectric plants take a hit in Midwestern drought
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Ameren hydroelectric plants take a hit in Midwestern drought

Date: August 30, 2012
By: Taylor Beck
State Capitol Bureau

The drought has cut Ameren UE's hydroelectricity production in half.
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Wrap: With lower water levels, Ameren UE is currently producing less than half of what it usually does this time of year from hydroelectric facilities. The manager of Hydro Operation of Ameren Missouri Warren Witt says plants have to find alternative ways to provide electricty to their customers.

Actuality:  WITT4002.WAV
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Description: "It simply means that we have to produce that power, and replace it with something that's a little more costly."

Witt says Ameren's other types of plants use water power for system cooling purposes. He says the coal and nuclear plants will feel a minor impact from the drought, but not at the same level as hydroelectric plants.   

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Taylor Beck.

Though Ameren Missouri's hydroelectric power is cut in half, the drought should not affect rates this year.
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Wrap: Hydroelectric production has been cut in half, but the Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission Kevin Gunn says he doesn't think this will affect rates.

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Description: "It's such a small percentage of what, how our electricity is generated in this state that it really shouldn't have any effect,and it certaintly wouldn't have an effect on current rates because we look backwards when we're setting our rates, we look at what a company has spent."

To increase utility rates, a company must file a case with the commission. Gunn says a full case takes about eleven months. The Public Service Commission is working on cases to increase rates with Ameren and Kansas City Power and Light from last year. 

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Taylor Beck. 


Ameren UE is working to keep water flowing at the Lake of the Ozarks despite cutting hydroelectricity production in half.
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OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Ameren is producing less than half of what its usual hydroelectricity power supply is. Despite the struggle, Manager of Hydro Operation of Ameren Missouri Warren Witt says hydroelectric production is not always Ameren's top priority.

Actuality:  WITT4004.WAV
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Description: "And really what we did all this summer most of this year really, is we sacrificed generation in order to keep the lake as full as we could for tourism."

Witt says the Lake of the Ozarks brings in a large amount of revenue to Missouri.

Reporting from the State Capitol, Taylor Beck. 

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