Chicago, July 22, 2011 — ComEd customer demand reached an all-time high peak usage milestone July 21, with demand reaching 23,753 MW, exceeding the utility's previous peak of 23,618 MW on Aug. 1, 2006.
The combination of increased usage and extreme heat places substantial demands on the electric grid. ComEd is taking steps in this heat wave to ensure a continuous flow of power.
This work is being performed even while crews continue to repair damage from one of the largest and most destructive storms in a decade. The storm that struck the ComEd service territory on July 11 knocked out power to more than 850,000 customers.
ComEd has invested billions of dollars in its transmission and distribution system in the last decade. This investment has resulted in steady improvements in reliability as well as other aspects of ComEd's business. During that time, there have been 39 percent fewer customer interruptions.
The Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (Senate Bill 1652) recently passed by the General Assembly, will strengthen and modernize ComEd's electric infrastructure, which would minimize the impact of storms and extreme heat.
The bill paves the way for much-needed investment to modernize and upgrade the electric infrastructure, including the installation of new cable, the replacement and repair of utility poles and smart grid technologies.
ComEd's proposed $2.6 billion investment would occur over the next decade. These upgrades include smart meters that would automatically notify the company of power outages and technologies that would result in an estimated 700,000 fewer service interruptions annually.