Technology demonstration focused on select rural customers that have experienced challenging outages in recent years
CHICAGO, November 28, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ComEd is exploring new battery energy storage system (BESS) solutions that improve resiliency by limiting the impact of power outages for customers In this new technology demonstration, ComEd is evaluating the effectiveness of localized batteries to support select customers who live in Streator, Ill., Lostant, Ill., and Milledgeville, Ill.
Traditional solutions to strengthen the energy grid against external threats include reinforcing poles, creating more paths to automatically reroute power around problem areas, and undergrounding distribution lines. To best support customers, ComEd is always trialing and enhancing solutions to deliver new levels of resiliency in a cost-effective manner. BESS solutions offer one alternative method; this demonstration will help identify whether localized storage solutions can improve reliability and resiliency in northern Illinois to limit the length and frequency of power outages -especially in more remote, and difficult to access, locations on the grid.
"Building on our nation-leading reliability, ComEd continues to seek solutions to improve our performance for customers, throughout our service territory," said Michelle Blaise, Senior Vice President of Technical Services at ComEd. "Hyper-localized solutions like this BESS demonstration are another key tool to ensure outstanding reliability and resiliency, even as the grid is challenged in new ways by more severe weather associated with climate change, while preparing for the growth of renewable energy, and the electrification of transportation, buildings and industry."
The deployed BESS solutions reduce the impact of outages these customers might experience by enabling them to maintain a power source when their portion of the main grid is damaged or experiences a fault. While ComEd line crews assess the damage and restore power to the area, the impacted homes are powered by the BESS solutions. Once the outage has been resolved, customers are reconnected to the grid. When determining the locations for these BESS deployments, ComEd identified customer areas that experienced some of the most challenging outages from 2017 to 2020.
The technology demonstration utilizes various batteries from Sunverge Energy Inc. and Mesa Technical Associates to support ongoing grid management including a Sunverge battery with 6.5kW / 28kWh capacity, and Mesa batteries with 75kW / 200kWh and 75kW / 350kWh capacity. Collectively, these batteries support 23 residential customers and can provide those homes with enough power to maintain typical energy use for 8 hours while ComEd line crews address the power outage on the main system.
These BESS solutions are some of the many investments ComEd has deployed throughout the region to improve customers’ reliability. Since 2011, ComEd has advanced smart grid improvements to help customers avoid more than 19 million outages, saving more than $3 billion in outage-related costs. This investment has paid off – so far in 2022, more than 3.6 million of ComEd’s more than 4 million customers have experienced, on average, either zero or no more than one outage.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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