Illinois Institute of Technology leads statewide smart grid initiative


Governor Pat Quinn,
Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 11, 2009 – Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has announced a $120 million statewide public-private partnership initiative to speed the adoption of the smart grid in Illinois.

IIT is leading the Illinois Smart Grid Collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the State of Illinois, Commonwealth Edison, Ameren, the City of Chicago, Village of Oak Park, Galvin Electricity Initiative, and more than 50 companies, with the aim to make Illinois a hub for innovation, validation, deployment and evaluation of smart grid technology.

“This Collaboration will help create an electrical grid that is secure and reliable,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. “This investment will create jobs and ensure Illinois families and businesses have access to technology that will lower their energy use, and their energy costs.”

The Collaboration has applied as a smart grid regional demonstration project for $60 million in stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for the project.

The Collaboration is nationally significant in that it is working to speed the effective adoption of the smart grid through a unique community, consumer, and market-based approach. With engagement at each of these levels, the project provides a format to ensure the expected benefits of smart grid adoption are widely adopted.

The Collaboration has four primary components:

  • The Illinois Institute of Technology perfect power system – a complete, replicable, and scalable demonstration of a “never fail” smart grid that would eliminate blackouts and make energy cleaner, more secure and more efficient.
  • The Oak Park community demonstration – a demonstration of the technological, financial and policy investments communities can make right now, in coordination with their utilities, to leverage advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) investments to achieve cheaper, more efficient, and more reliable energy in homes and businesses. The demonstration will begin with Oak Park, Illinois and expand to other communities.
  • The Illinois Institute of Technology Smart Grid Demonstration Center – a comprehensive technology development, demonstration, and evaluation platform that will allow companies to "plug-in" to an existing smart grid (IIT’s Perfect Power System) to speed the development of their new smart grid technologies and products.
  • The University of Illinois Smart Grid Validation Facility – an incubator, laboratory and advanced test bed that will allow companies to validate their smart grid technologies to ensure they are used in trustworthy configurations that meet cyber security and interoperability standards before they are implemented on the grid.

Benefits to Illinois are expected to include lower electricity bills through the community implementation model, access to the newest and most reliable smart grid technology, product innovation, entrepreneurial opportunity and other economic development, as well as new green job training and green job growth.