ComEd To Build New Rockford Microgrid; Reduce Extreme Weather Security Risks

ComEd recently announced plans for a new microgrid at Chicago Rockford International Airport, which will create between 300-400 jobs,  and cost between $30-$40 million. It’s a part of ComEd’s plan of providing resilient energy services in the face of future extreme weather events.

Anne Pramaggiore, CEO and President of ComEd said Chicago Rockford’s International Airport proposed microgrid will help communities, and customers in utilizing new technologies towards a clean energy future that’s reliable and affordable.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey said the new microgrid will strengthen the relationship between ComEd and Rockford.

A self-reliant microgrid at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport will help our region attract more jobs and improve the security and resiliency of our national air transportation network

Mayor Larry Morrisey

ComEd is planning further microgrids within northern Illinois including:

  • Chicago Heights water pumping and treatment Facility
  • Chicago Illinois Medical District
  • Aurora FAA Facility
  • Dupage County Government Complex.

Illinois’s 2011 Smart Grid Law has helped spur ComEd’s Future Energy Plan. According to ComEd, this policy has helped advance renewable energy access, and promote an affordable clean energy transition. Over 4,600 regional jobs have been generated from this program, with more new employment expected.

We are pleased to be here with Universal Solar, who is helping to grow solar energy in Illinois and we are proud to partner the great city of Rockford to further the development of technologies like microgrids and solar energy to help ensure secure, reliable electricity for the Chicago Rockford International Airport”

Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd

Having a microgrid at one of Illinois busiest airports will help to increase security and limit disruption from future extreme weather events. Microgrids also provide critical energy sources needed to avoid blackouts. Its anticipated extreme weather events will increase from climate change. In recent years, northern Illinois has been effected with more extreme weather events, ranging from severe storms to intense heat waves.

ComEd understands how microgrids will play a critical role in not only providing backup infrastructure in the face of the climate change/energy nexus, but also has effectively shown how utilities can adapt to disruptive technologies with effective policy.

Last year, ComEd received a $1.2 million grant from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to build a first-of-its-kind microgrid master controller that could drive the operations of clusters of microgrids.

The controller will be located in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and will allow connection to the Illinois Institute of Technology’s existing microgrid.

If you want to know more about ComEd and it’s smartgrid progress, check out this video from earlier this year. Anne Pramaggiore talks about who ComEd is facing the security, environmental challenges, while meeting the customer demands of a 21st century utility.

PHOTOGRAPH: VONDERAUVISUALS (CC BY 2.0)

Adam Johnston Is expected to be completed the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam also owns a part time tax preparation business. He also started up recently Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or his business www.salayconsultiing.com.

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