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For Immediate Release

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ComEd Proposes First Ever Microgrid Cluster for Historic Bronzeville

Project to Enhance Security and Resiliency, Support DOE and Continued Grid Innovation  

CHICAGO (July 28, 2017) – ComEd is proposing to construct a microgrid in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood that would help keep power flowing, especially during times of emergencies, when it is needed most. 

The project, submitted today to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), leverages existing research and development efforts supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) for development of a microgrid controller and the integration of solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery energy storage within the microgrid. A microgrid is a small power grid that can disconnect from the main grid to ensure that even during extreme weather or a cyber or physical attack, power will keep flowing to critical infrastructure, customers and businesses.  

ComEd is working on a grant of $1.2 million that supports research, development and testing of the master controller for the first ever microgrid cluster that would allow the system to operate alongside a microgrid serving the Illinois Institute of Technology. The clustered microgrid would provide information and assistance to first responders and create a better understanding of how microgrids can be leveraged for emergency response. A second grant of $4 million will add advanced solar PV and battery energy storage capacity to this microgrid cluster.

"This demonstration will support critical infrastructure in a vital and vibrant Chicago neighborhood where we're building upon the strength of the smart grid platform," said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. "It will enable us to measure the capability of a microgrid to increase grid security and resiliency against disruptive events, such as a cyber-attack, and test the ability to recover from them. This is the kind of innovative technology we need to be testing in our State as we plan for the continued evolution of our system."

Bronzeville is home to the Public Safety Headquarters of the City of Chicago, housing the Chicago Police Department, which plays a vital role in the public safety efforts of the City of Chicago.

"The Bronzeville community is well known for innovation and entrepreneurship and commitment to building a bright future," said Paula Robinson, president of the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership. "A secure energy infrastructure and greater access to renewable sources are central to our vision and that's why we remain hopeful that ComEd will get the green light to proceed with the construction of this demonstration project. It's time to put this technology to the test and Bronzeville is the perfect place to do it." ​

If approved, the Bronzeville Microgrid would alleviate the impacts of disruptive events, including a physical or cyber-attack targeting the grid, by sectionalizing power delivery into smaller segments and using localized control, allowing for continuous energy supply to critical facilities and customers connected to the microgrid. These benefits extend to surrounding communities through better access to food, supplies, clean water and   public services, which can mitigate burdens on first responders. 

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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 3.8 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.

© Commonwealth Edison Company, 2017. All Rights Reserved.