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ComEd Promotes Smart Grid Project
The power to save you money. That's how power company ComEd is marketing its smart grid technologies.
An expo-style event held today was created as an educational experience for lawmakers and top utility leaders, although a company spokesman said ComEd is not looking for any state funding for its new smart grid project.
There were a number of booths, showing off things like smart meters and smart switches, which detect and isolate problems in the system and reroute power around the problems.
ComEd vice president Mike McMahon said this new system is like going from those old-style rotary telephones to today's smartphones.
"The benefits of the smart grid are very, very numerous," McMahon said. "For one, on the smart meters, they allow us better outage detection. They allow us to read the meters remotely. We don't have to come out in the snow to manually read the meters anymore. You don't have to call to report an outage anymore. We'll know when you're out. The smart meter will tell us. And it also enables a whole litany of benefits for the consumer."
The construction of the smart grid is already underway. In northern Illinois, the cost is about $1.3 billion. Another $1.3 billion will be spent to upgrade ComEd's current electrical grid.
The company said the project has created 700 new jobs, and should be completed by 2022.