Chicago-based Commonwealth Edison took a major step last week toward building the much-watched Bronzeville microgrid, a project that will test the emerging concept of microgrid clusters, or a ‘grid of microgrids.’
The Exelon subsidiary petitioned the Illinois Commerce Commission for permission to recover costs for the $25 million project through customer rates.
Designed to serve 10 critical facilities, the Bronzeville microgrid will connect to a nearby microgrid at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Working in coordination, the microgrids will demonstrate how the whole-is-greater-than-the-sum of its parts when microgrids ‘talk’ to each other.
“The project will likely be the most advanced clustered urban microgrid in the United States,” said Joseph Svachula, ComEd’s vice president, smart grid & technology, in testimony before the commission.
Should the Bronzeville microgrid go forward as planned, it will place Illinois in league with other microgrid leaders like California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
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