ComEd seeks public comment on new power transmission line

ComEd will host three open houses in July to seek input from the public regarding the utility's proposed Grand Prairie Gateway Project, a new 345,000 kV electric transmission line to be constructed between ComEd's existing substations near the communities of Byron and Wayne.

The new transmission line will connect these substations and travel across Ogle, DeKalb, Kane and DuPage counties and will serve millions of customers in northern Illinois.

ComEd representatives will provide an overview of the project along with criteria for selecting the route for the proposed transmission line, which will include single-pole steel structures.

High-voltage electricity is moved across the electric grid by transmission lines. PJM Interconnection, the independent regional transmission grid operator and planner for the ComEd service territory, has selected the Grand Prairie Gateway Project as the best solution for addressing current system congestion and ensuring the continued efficient flow of electricity across northern Illinois.

The proposed line will alleviate congestion and reduce costs. It also adds a third west-east path across the ComEd territory, which provides ComEd with more options to meet customer needs.

The project is needed for compliance with PJM and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations. It also requires approval by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) following a public proceeding.

Through an integrated process incorporating input from the public and community stakeholders, ComEd will identify a primary route for the transmission line and at least one alternate route with the project study area. The final route must be approved by the ICC.

ComEd expects to file a request for approval with the ICC before the end of 2013, and FERC has up to 225 days to announce its decision. The project is anticipated to be completed and begin service by June 2017.

ComEd provides service to about 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.

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