The work done by ComEd to modernize and storm harden the electrical grid has contributed to record-breaking reliability over the last two years, said Terence R. Donnelly, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for ComEd. As we approach the winter and the potential for heavy snow and ice, this work will help ensure that our customers have reliable energy to meet their needs.
With the passage of the Smart Grid law by the Illinois General Assembly in 2011, ComEd embarked on a $2.6 billion program to modernize the power system in northern Illinois. Through investments in smart switches that reroute power around potential problem areas, new storm hardening and vegetation management solutions, and cable replacement, as well as other system improvement programs, more than 5.6 million customer interruptions have been avoided since 2012.
Last year alone, more than 1.5 million interruptions did not occur due to the reliability improvements ComEd is making to its system. In fact, despite severe weather conditions, including several tornadoes earlier this year, ComEd has produced record reliability for the first half of 2015. Due to system improvements, more than 1.6 million customer interruptions have been avoided so far this year.
ComEds proposed legislation, known as ComEds Future Energy Plan, builds on the benefits of the smart grid through, among other improvements, the development of six microgrids which will provide additional resiliency and reliability in the face of extreme weather or man-made events. The plan also calls for expanded support for renewable energy in Illinois and ensures that energy consumers and the state economy will continue to benefit from affordable power, a more secure and resilient grid.
We are continuing to explore opportunities to bring new technology to the grid that will improve reliability, said Donnelly. Our Future Energy Plan delivers value to our customers through clean energy, energy savings, grid resiliency and customer choice.
ComEd also offers the following no costs/low costs tips to help customers safely prepare their homes for winter weather, manage their energy usage and reduce electricity costs.