Utility AmerenUE reports a university study found the reconstruction of the breached upper reservoir of the 408-MW Taum Sauk pumped-storage project will add 635 jobs in southeast Missouri and boost state income by $48 million.
Taum Sauk (No. 2277) has not operated since the reservoir’s ring dam breached Dec. 14, 2005, releasing 1.4 billion gallons of water down the Black River, injuring nine people, and damaging property, including Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park. A Missouri Public Service Commission investigation cited a failure of utility management for the breach. (HNN 12/21/07)
AmerenUE and the state of Missouri signed a settlement agreement in November in which AmerenUE will pay $177.35 million in compensation and remediation of the breach.
In addition, the study by the Center for Economic and Business Research of Southeast Missouri State University found the additional economic benefits from the $450 million reconstruction project.
Of the estimated 300 people expected to be employed to rebuild the dam, 177 will be from the 10-county region and will earn about $17 million annually for each of the projected two years of reconstruction. Spending by those contract employees is expected to add another $5 million of income and another 95 jobs in the region.
AmerenUE has said it will not attempt to recover from ratepayers any of the breach-related costs or compensation. It said insurance is expected to cover substantially all settlement costs and the costs of rebuilding the reservoir.