Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 3, 2013 – ComEd’s smart grid modernization program resulted in the creation of more than 2,400 full-time equivalent jobs in Illinois in 2012, the company has reported in a report submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission.
These include 785 direct and contractor full-time equivalent jobs, including positions at the utility and outside contractors, along with an estimated 1,700 induced jobs representing a broad range of functions required to build a 21st century electric grid, from construction, engineering and system design to manufacturing and administration.
“Our work to bring the electric grid into the 21st century created more new jobs than we anticipated in the first year of the program,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd. “As the legislature intended, ComEd is making a positive economic impact as we improve service to our customers and modernize our grid to help keep Illinois competitive.”
Under the Illinois Smart Grid law, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years to modernize the electric grid in Northern Illinois. However, the ICC reduced funding by nearly $100 million per year beginning in 2014 and beyond. As a result, ComEd had to postpone deployment of key initiatives, including the installation of smart meters, until 2015.
Subsequently legislation clarifying language in the Smart Grid law was prepared, which has been passed by the Illinois House and Senate. However, reports are that the governor, Pat Quinn, is likely to veto the bill.
ComEd says in a statement that if this legislation is enacted in the spring legislative session, the company will be able to accelerate its meter installations to begin later in 2013.
According to the ComEd statement the job creation ripple effect of the grid modernization capital expenditure spending is particularly strong in the Chicago area. The model of the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois shows for every direct and contractor job added, an additional two jobs are created elsewhere in the economy.
In 2012, ComEd awarded 71 percent of its $118 million grid modernization contracts to Illinois companies.