The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative has awarded ComEd $4 million to design and deploy solar and battery storage technology for a planned microgrid demonstration project in Chicago.
“The microgrid demonstration we are building in Bronzeville is a blueprint for other utility-owned microgrids around the country,” said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd’s president and chief executive officer. “These microgrids can benefit the public via significant distributed generation like solar to power critical facilities like hospitals, schools and police and fire operations.”
Microgrids provide power to customers without relying on the main grid, which improves grid resilience and decreases the impact of outages during power disruptions like severe weather.
The Bronzeville microgrid demonstration and its integrated solar and battery storage are located next to Illinois’ Institute of Technology’s microgrid and is part of the world’s first “microgrid cluster.”
Funding from the DOE’s SunShot Initiative allows for the creation of a microgrid-integrated solar-storate technology (MISST) system in the Bronzeville neighborhood, permitting the widespread use of low-cost, flexible and reliable solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and the use of energy storage systems.
“I want to commend ComEd for putting the City of Chicago on the vanguard of the next generation of technology that will increase our use of renewable energy and make us more resilient to whatever Mother Nature throws at us,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago is a national leader in utilizing the technologies of tomorrow to create the jobs today, and this new initiative will help to keep us at the forefront of that effort.”