ComEd partnered with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC) to jointly research, develop, pilot and implement energy efficient streetlight and smart grid technologies.The MMC is an agency comprising some 275 cities, towns and villages in Chicago.
In a press statement, the US utility said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the MMC to help the agency's member towns, cities and villages develop frameworks for smart streetlights projects.
Anne Pramaggiore, CEO of ComEd said the utility firm will host a series of workshops to inform members of the MMC on the benefits of smart street lights, residential solar and other smart grid technologies.
“ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus are working to enhance the livability and sustainability of the communities we serve,” added Pramaggiore.
The energy provider will help members of the MMC identify ways to fund the rollout of sustainable energy projects.
The two parties are confident their collaboration will get support from the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). Following its approval by the Illinois General Assembly in 2016, the FEJA will be implemented as from this June with aims to increase the state's energy efficiency savings.
The Act was approved by the illinois government under efforts to increase annual investments in energy efficiency programmes from $250 million to $400 million by 2030.
“The MOU provides for a one-of-a-kind collaboration between ComEd and the MMC to develop a pilot for a national model on how utilities and municipalities can work together to create greener, more resilient and sustainable communities,” according to a combined statement.
Rollout of smart street lights in Illinois
The signing of the agreement follows the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approving ComEd’s smart street lights deployed in northern Illinois as the new standard for smart street lights to be deployed in the whole of illinois state.
The ICC also allowed ComEd to administrate an energy efficiency project which the MMC managed for the public sector over the past six years.
The majority of the streetlights to be deployed by members of the MMC in partnership with ComEd will use the utility's smart grid communication network and control technologies to allow real-time remote control of smart street lights.
Robert J. Nunamaker, executive board chairman of the MMC, said: “We’ve had considerable success working with Illinois utilities to create energy savings for our member communities, and we expect to expand on this record by working more directly with them.”
The news follows an announcement made by ComEd that it will replace its 140,000 municipal street lights with LED smart street lights as from third or fourth quarter of 2017.
By replacing existing streetlights with LED models, ComEd says it help municipal councils reduce their energy bills. [Rome’s €48m scheme to replace streetlights challenged by citizens].
The development would also allow the energy distribution firm to sustain the reliability of its grid network especially during peak periods and help avoid investing in new energy generation infrastructure to meet demand.
Image credit: 123rf.