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ComEd, Rockford Mayor McNamara and Local Leaders Announce Launch of Community of the Future in Rockford

Local organizations and leaders to help introduce advanced energy technologies that help build sustainability and resiliency across Rockford

ROCKFORD, Ill. (April 11, 2022) – Today, ComEd and the city of Rockford announced the expansion of ComEd's Community of the Future (CoF) program to the Rockford area.

ComEd's CoF program is a partnership with local organizations and leaders to demonstrate advanced energy technologies that help build sustainability and resiliency across the areas ComEd serves. The CoF is part of ComEd's commitment to making power grid investments to expand clean energy technologies, including renewables such as solar power, and electric vehicles to help customers reduce costs and carbon footprints.

"Across our region and across the country, there is a large-scale effort to make our communities more sustainable, resilient and equitable through power grid investments that integrate clean energy technologies, including renewables such as solar power, and electric vehicles to help customers reduce costs and carbon footprints," said ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones. "The Rockford Community of the Future is the type of partnership with local leaders that will help us identify and address which of these efforts will best serve the needs of this vibrant community."

ComEd's Community of the Future is an approach to innovation that is actively guided by ongoing partnerships. Through these community partnerships, ComEd ensures that advanced technology demonstrations are grounded in community engagement that seeks to identify and address community needs, resulting in environmental sustainability; community safety; enhanced job and business growth; more reliable and resilient power; and greater access to resources that improve residents' quality of life.

"We are proud to be named a Community of the Future by ComEd," says Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. "ComEd continues to be an outstanding community partner, and we're looking forward to this new distinction bringing more saving, sustainability and innovation to Rockford."

To contribute to building a sustainable Rockford, ComEd convened a Community Advisory Council of 15 community leaders who have committed to supporting and introducing advanced technologies that are tailored to address the needs of area residents. Members of the Rockford advisory board include:

  • Jeff Bailey, Rockford Chamber
  • Sully Cadengo, Rockford Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Barb Chidley, City of Rockford
  • Eric Cunningham, Rockford Area Economic Development Council/Collins Aerospace
  • Michael Dunn Jr., Regional 1 Planning
  • Reid Jutras, Rockford Public Schools 205
  • Kris Kieper Machajewski, YMCA
  • Tom McNamara, City of Rockford Mayor
  • Rebecca White Newgren, Secondfirst Church
  • Denise Noe, Boys and Girls Club
  • Dr. Howard J. Spearman, Rock Valley Community College
  • Spitaman "Spitty" Tata, Transform Rockford Great Neighborhoods
  • Gabrielle Torina, City of Rockford representative and 5th Ward alderman
  • Odessa Walker, Rockford Housing Authority – Human Service
  • Karen Waller, Booker T. Washington Resource Center

Rockford is the second Community of the Future launched by ComEd, with a similar program in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood that began in 2016. Benefitting from the guidance of the Bronzeville Community Advisory Council, the Bronzeville CoF features technology that enhances public safety through solar power lighting, resiliency through a dedicated community microgrid, and educational opportunities through STEM programs for high school students.

The starting point of the Bronzeville CoF was the development of a microgrid – a localized power grid that connects to the main grid or can operate independently. Since then, the Bronzeville Community of the Future program has expanded to encompass a wide range of public programs, from the Bronzeville Renaissance Mural to geothermal heat pumps. Teams from across ComEd have also worked with leaders in Bronzeville to bring new solutions to important problems like climate change in a way that is both informative and inspiring. ComEd is excited to begin collaborating in Rockford to champion a new wave of innovative initiatives.

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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.


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