CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ComEd submitted June 1 to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) its annual reliability report showing customers experienced a 10 percent reduction in the frequency of outages last year compared to 2016, resulting in the best on record performance for the fifth year in a row.
“The investments we’ve made to strengthen and modernize the grid across our system are enabling us to deliver strong results for our customers,” said Terence R. Donnelly, president and chief operating officer, ComEd. “Since the smart grid program was launched in 2012, the frequency and duration of outages has been reduced by nearly 50 percent. We are now focused on sustaining this new higher standard and making additional investments.”
The 2017 report showed there were fewer customers impacted per storm outage and fewer lengthy outages during storms. Customers experiencing an interruption lasting 12 or more hours during storms has decreased 81 percent compared to the five-year average prior to the smart grid program.
An overall residential customer satisfaction score, as measured by J.D. Power & Associates, rose again in 2017, the fifth consecutive high ComEd has achieved on a full-year basis. Improvements are recognized among ComEd commercial customers, too.
“The smart grid investments made by ComEd are helping us better manage energy usage and costs for 23 facilities throughout one of the largest school districts in Illinois,” said Colin Wilkie, energy and operations manager, School District 200, headquartered in Wheaton. “Utilities can’t prevent storms but they can fortify their systems to be less vulnerable and use technology to expedite the restoration process and improve communications, and that’s what ComEd is doing. A more modern grid will also increase access to renewable energy, which is of great interest to school administrators and to our students.”
Record reliability and customer satisfaction are the result of numerous system improvements, including distribution automation or “smart switches” that automatically route power around potential problem areas; as well as storm hardening engineering solutions, enhanced vegetation management, and grid resiliency investments.
In February, the ICC approved ComEd’s plan to construct a microgrid in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood of Bronzeville. It will be connected to a microgrid serving the Illinois Institute of Technology, creating one the first utility-operated microgrids in the nation. The demonstration project has received more than $5 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. It will enable the study of how microgrids support the integration of clean energy onto the grid and increase grid security to keep power flowing even during extreme weather or a catastrophic event.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.