A Utility Pioneers the Urban Microgrid

ComEd is pioneering one of the first utility built microgrids in its Bronzeville, south Chicago service area.

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Bronzeville, The Dawn of the Utility Microgrid
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The Bronzeville microgrid, soon to be built by ComEd in a South Chicago neighborhood, will enable the deployment of a raft of new electric technologies and transform the utility – customer relationship.

The pioneering work we will do has national implications for other utilities and their customers.

The transformation of the electric system serving Chicago and Northern Illinois serves as a prime example of strong utility leadership and collaboration with communities, stakeholders and suppliers and a growing energy tech sector.

ComEd, an electric utility serving more than 4 million customers in Northern Illinois, has been working with local stakeholders in the Bronzeville neighborhood to co-create a “Community of the Future.”

“The pioneering work we will do has national implications for other utilities and their customers.”

Through its initiative, ComEd seeks to serve as both connector and enabler—bringing together stakeholders and community members to identify priorities and opportunities to implement solutions that leverage the smart grid infrastructure that has been built throughout the region since 2012 through one of the most robust grid modernizations programs in the nation.

The 111-year-old utility is intent on building upon the strength of the stronger, more flexible smart grid platform that has dramatically enhanced reliability and customer satisfaction.

Terence Donnelly, President & COO, ComEd

Within the domain of climate, energy and resilience, ComEd is also driving significant energy efficiency at the community level, piloting distributed storage applications and building an advanced community microgrid all within the Bronzeville Community of the Future.

From ordinary homes to institutions that provide critical services, the microgrid will help all types of customers know their power will continue to flow even during an emergency. In addition, microgrids support the increased penetration of distributed energy resources like solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, which help reduce the carbon footprint of the entire region. Moreover, superior reliability and security of the electric grid encourages local businesses to make investments that support continued economic growth.

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