ComEd unveils plans for first “Community of the Future” in Bronzeville


The Illinois-based utility will kick-off its “Community of the Future” project in Bronzeville, a neighborhood and district in the community area of Douglas, Chicago.

The announcement was made at a community event attended by more than 200 state public officials and leaders from several community organisations.

According to a release, ComEd had trialled several smart city technologies, including smart streetlights in neighborhoods across northern Illinois.

The utility said it plans to integrate these technologies in one community to create a “Community of the Future”, in which residents and businesses can enjoy savings and live in a sustainable environment – through energy efficiency programmes, sensor-enabled traffic and parking, and other innovations.

Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd was reported as saying: “The Smart Grid Law allowed ComEd to make a US$2.6 billion investment to create a smart grid, and we are now building on this foundation to develop innovative products and solutions that will deliver value to our customers.

“We see the Community of the Future as the next generation of our smart grid work – a way to tailor the grid so that it’s customized and community based, more dynamic and capable of solving specific customer needs at the community level.”

Smart technology, smart communities

[quote] The community of Bronzeville has received smart meters, allowing for two-way communication between the utility and customer.

Residents and businesses are also enjoying improved power reliability, with the use of smart switches, which reroutes electricity when an outage occurs. Bronzeville has a diverse range of customers and load types, and it is home to critical public infrastructure such as hospitals and police headquarters.

A member of the Chicago City Council, Pat Dowell adds, “Bronzeville is on the verge of a new and exciting renaissance, poised to emerge as an epicenter of innovation. We all have the opportunity to support a future of possibility and innovation in Bronzeville, and I am grateful for ComEd’s leadership and vision for making Bronzeville a Community of the Future and in ensuring that this innovation serves our entire community.”