ComEd seeks Illinois Commerce Commission decision on future of grid modernization in Illinois


Anne Pramaggiore,
President & COO,
Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 20, 2010 – Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) yesterday asked the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) for immediate action to redefine a path for Illinois’ first smart grid pilot in response to a September 30 Illinois Appellate Court decision that overturned the use of a proposed “system modernization project” rider.

The Rider SMP, which had been approved by the ICC, was intended as a mechanism to enable ComEd to recoup from customers the costs of implementing the pilot.

In a statement ComEd said the Illinois Appellate Court decision effectively kills the study phase of the ICC’s plan for modernizing the state’s electric infrastructure.

ComEd has asked the ICC for a decision on a temporary measure that would transfer some of the costs of the pilot into the company’s general pending rate case instead of the rider.

In its petition, ComEd asked the ICC to approve a scaled down version of its smart grid pilot program, which the company said had been designed to generate information that would feed into a longer term process established by the ICC and aimed at discerning what sorts of investments in grid modernization would best serve Illinois’ economic future.

ComEd’s pilot is on hold until a decision is made.

“Many industry experts and state policy leaders view grid modernization and smart grid technology as critical to future economic development,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief operating officer, ComEd. “This temporary measure will enable ComEd to finish the study, but it is not a long term solution. Nevertheless we believe it is critical that the ICC indicates its direction to move forward, and keep the path to a future smart grid open.”

In the statement ComEd said that 43 states have recognized the importance of smart grid investments by conducting pilots or full deployment of the new technology. Last week, New York regulators approved a program similar to the one the Illinois Appellate Court rejected.

“ComEd is seeking guidance on next steps to prevent Illinois from becoming one of only a handful of states with no active smart grid initiative in place.”

ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.