Ameren Illinois’ new operating plant in Macomb will serve as a model for the energy provider’s future facilities.
The $9-million facility is the first of its kind, according to Ameren. It’s also the first new plant the company has built in 20 years.
The facility is positioned on an 8 acre site in Macomb’s business park which the company purchased from the city. Customer service representatives and line repair workers who serve western Illinois will have offices in the building.
There’s also plenty of room for Ameren service equipment and trucks. The facility has a large attached garage, similar in size to an airplane hanger, to provide covered parking for more than a dozen trucks keeping them out of the winter weather and ideally, extending the life of the vehicles.
Richard Mark, the President of Ameren Illinois, called the facility a new start for Ameren. He said what makes the facility so unique, is its size. He said Ameren plans to begin merging small offices across the state together to create larger operating plants.
“We got teams of employees together who utilize the facility on a daily basis to help with the design of the Macomb plant and they told us how to do in order to make their jobs easier and to be able to get big piece of equipment in and out of the facility,” Mark said.
He said dependable energy infrastructure is necessary to get businesses and corporations to move to and grow in Illinois. He said the state legislature’s passage of pro-energy legislation a few years ago helped make the new facility in Macomb possible. He thanked State Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), who attended the open house, for her support of the project.
“It takes facilities like this to really put that together and make sure the men and women that work for Ameren Illinois can keep the lights on and the gas flowing to make sure that it’s there when you need it,” Mark said.
The new facility has been in the works since 2007. Until now, Ameren had been operating out of a century-old building near downtown Macomb. The old facility on Calhoun St. is in the process of being fixed up so the city can help Ameren market the property to other interested manufactures.