The Illinois Senate in US, has voted in favor to upgrade the state’s electric grid and modernize the infrastructure to improve electricity reliability and benefit the customer.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton sponsored the Senate Bill 9, which clarifies the Smart Grid law enacted in 2011 while maintaining strong consumer protections.

The 2011 law provided incentives for utilities like Ameren Illinois to enhance performance and reliability of the electric delivery system under a formula-rate making process.

Under the smart grid law, Ameren Illinois will spend $625m over the next 10 years to upgrade electric systems, including the installation of automated sensors to detect outages, advanced metering, and the construction of a new training center to prepare the next generation of utility workers.

Ameren Illinois president and CEO Richard Mark said the company supports the Senate’s initiation to modernize the electric grid.

"Our team is prepared to implement exciting new technologies and enhancements to our electric delivery system that will enable customers in central and southern Illinois to take control of their energy usage and save money, as well as create hundreds of new jobs," Mark added.