CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With severe weather showing up early and often, and high summer temperatures placing more stress on the electric grid, ComEd has taken steps to ensure reliable energy for the 9 million people it serves in northern Illinois. Earlier today, ComEd presented its summer readiness plan and a look at its future work to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).
“The summer is typically our most active weather season,” said Terence Donnelly, president and COO at ComEd. “However, climate change has made severe weather more likely year-round. While we spoke with the ICC about our preparations for this summer, the reality is that the work we do is meant to ensure reliability in the face of increasing severe weather and prepare the grid for the rapid growth of clean energy technologies.”
In ComEd’s presentation, Donnelly reviewed ComEd programs and processes to help protect against the impacts of severe weather, including Distribution Automation, a technology that has helped ComEd avoid more than 15 million customer outages; light detection and ranging, or Lidar, which helps to identify trees that might be more susceptible to the effects of climate change; and an outage prediction tool that uses analytics from system data to map out effective preventative maintenance.
Last year, investments in the power grid continued to pay reliability dividends for ComEd customers as the electric company delivered record reliability. Since grid improvements began in 2011, overall reliability has improved more than 80 percent. In that time, ComEd has avoided more than 19 million power outages for customers, saving more than $3.3 billion in outage-related costs. In 2022, 85 percent, or nearly 3.5 million ComEd customers, experienced zero or one interruption in service.
Preparing for the clean energy transition
In addition, Donnelly outlined steps the company is taking to support policy goals outlined in Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) while continuing to invest in the system to provide reliable, safe, clean and equitable electric service.
“We are never just doing one thing at a time,” said Donnelly. “We build with an eye toward resiliency and preparing the grid for severe weather, as well as increased clean energy technology and decarbonization, so that we maximize the long-term benefit for customers every time we make improvements to the grid.”
Supporting the adoption of electric vehicles and electrification of buildings and industry while maintaining grid safety and reliability will require physical and digital infrastructure upgrades. ComEd outlined these needs in the multi-year grid and rate plans that it filed in January with the ICC. The plans align with ComEd 2030, the company’s vision for a carbon-free energy future that will benefit all communities and meet customers’ changing needs for the rest of this decade and beyond.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 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, Instagram and YouTube.