As the Missouri State Senate is expected to bring up SB 190, sponsored by Sen. Ed Emery (R-31), the Columbia Chamber of Commerce announces its support for the bill. SB 190 establishes the Missouri Economic Development and Infrastructure Act. It will focus on developing a “smart” electrical grid for the state that is expected to have positive impact on our economy and directly benefit consumers.
The broader economic development initiative included in the act encourages thoughtful adjustments to Missouri’s energy regulations with an emphasis on addressing future energy policies. The expanded development of smart grid infrastructure will be backed by more than $1 billion in investments that will encourage the expansion of large businesses across Missouri. Ameren Missouri has said about 3,000 additional jobs would be created both directly and indirectly should the bill be passed and signed into law.
“As we look to move Columbia, Mid-Missouri and the entire state forward, legislation that creates jobs should be a high priority,” Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick said. “This investment will pay dividends for not just a few years, but for decades.”
Additionally, the implementation of smart grid technology will improve system reliability and predictability of power outages. A foundation aimed at developing future utility capabilities (solar and bio power expansions, EV charging stations, micro grids) will also be created. A smarter grid will also create a more secure product. It will better prepare our state to control the effects of potential physical or cyber security attacks on the system such as hacking or natural disasters.
“Security is always on the forefront of everyone’s mind. If there is a chance to make something safer, we will do everything we can to make sure this gets accomplished,” McCormick said. “The less everyone has to worry about safety, the more they can focus on providing a product that can benefit Missourians and create better business in the state.”
Missourians will also directly benefit from smart grid innovations. Improved predictability and detection of outages will allow for power to be restored quicker. They will also be provided with new choices, conveniences and controls to better manage their energy usage and costs. In today’s energy market, companies and states must be able to keep up with the pace of innovation and the expectations of consumers. Smart grid improvements are critical for staying competitive in the energy industry and keeping Missouri as a leader in business.