At ComEd, we’re committed to making continuous improvements in the service our customers expect and deserve. Investing in reliability for today and tomorrow, we have since 2000 invested about $4.7 billion to expand, upgrade, and maintain the reliability of a system serving 3.8 million customers in Northern Illinois through a transmission and distribution infrastructure modernization and enhancement program. As a result, service reliability has improved significantly. Since 1998, the frequency of outages decreased by 33%. Since 1998, the duration of those outages decreased by 46%. These improvements have also benefited the area in business and job growth — increasing residential property values, providing a better tax base for funding schools and other public services, and improving the overall quality of life.
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West Central Reliability Project Planning Begins
ComEd’s proposed West Central Reliability Project is a new 138kV electric transmission line to be constructed on steel poles between ComEd’s existing substations near the communities of Bartlett and Itasca. The line connects these substations and crosses DuPage and Cook counties, primarily within the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway right-of-way.
Northwest Reliability Project Phase III in Progress
Phase III of the Northwest Reliability Project is the third and final phase of ComEd’s commitment to meet the current and future needs in southeast McHenry and northeast Kane counties. This region is among the fastest developing areas in metropolitan Chicago and, through Phase III, area businesses and residents will benefit from increased capacity and greater reliability through enhancements that include the construction of new transmission lines and a distribution substation near Interstate 90 and State Route 47. The project will allow the system to comply with ComEd standards to reduce the likelihood of an extended major outage.
West Loop Project Is Continually Increasing Reliability
The largest and most complex initiative of this type ever undertaken by ComEd, the West Loop Project was completed in June 2008. The eight-year, $350 million initiative accomplishes two main objectives. It converts the city’s electric transmission system from a “hub and spoke” to a network model, providing Chicago substations multiple sources of supply — substantially reducing the likelihood of a significant loss of power downtown and in Chicago neighborhoods. Secondly, it adds the equivalent of a 400 MW power plant to the power available in the heart of the city. Previously, failure at a “hub” substation would put service at risk because of a lack of redundant supply to the system’s “spoke” substations. West Loop connects those spokes by adding 138 kV transmission lines, providing multiple supply routes to serve the former “spoke” substations. The new 345 kV transmission lines, which are networked among existing 345 kV substations to produce a larger and more redundant high voltage grid in central Chicago, add to the high-voltage power “highway” that delivers power to and from several Chicago substations.