ComEd smart grid upgrades improve reliability for winter weather

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While fall temperatures have been mild, winter weather is just around the corner. ComEd announced that investments to strengthen and modernize its electrical delivery system are helping to improve power reliability and ensuring that the utility is ready to serve its customers this winter.

With the passage of the smart grid law by the Illinois General Assembly in 2011, ComEd embarked on a $2.6 billion program to modernize the power system in northern Illinois.

Through investments in smart switches that reroute power around potential problem areas, new storm hardening and vegetation management solutions, and cable replacement, as well as other system improvement programs, more than 5.6 million customer interruptions have been avoided since 2012.

Last year alone, more than 1.5 million interruptions did not occur due to the reliability improvements ComEd is making to its system. In fact, despite severe weather conditions, including several tornadoes earlier this year, ComEd has produced record reliability for the first half of 2015. Due to system improvements, more than 1.6 million customer interruptions have been avoided so far this year.

ComEd’s proposed legislation, known as ComEd’s Future Energy Plan, builds on the benefits of the smart grid through, among other improvements, the development of six microgrids, which will provide additional resiliency and reliability in the face of extreme weather or manmade events.

The plan also calls for expanded support for renewable energy in Illinois and ensures that energy consumers and the state economy will continue to benefit from affordable power, a more secure and resilient grid.

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