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Exelon : ComEd : Sets a Record in First Half of 2015 for Reliability

07/02/2015 | 06:52pm US/Eastern

Customers reap smart grid benefits - less outages and faster power restoration

Despite more severe weather conditions, including recent tornadoes, ComEd has produced its best reliability ever for the first half of a year. For the first six months of 2015, ComEd avoided more than 879,000 customer interruptions on the system.

With passage of the Smart Grid law in 2011, ComEd embarked on a $2.6 billion program to modernize the power system in northern Illinois. Through these investments which include smart switches that reroute power around potential problem areas, new storm hardening and vegetation management solutions, and cable replacement, in addition to the other ongoing programs, nearly 5,000,000 customer interruptions have been avoided since January 2012 through first six months of 2015. Last year alone, more than 1.5 million interruptions were prevented, due to the reliability improvements ComEd is making to its system.

“Preventing outages is one of our main goals, because the best outage is the one that never happens,” said Terence R. Donnelly, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, ComEd. “Our investments in smart grid technology and storm hardening are fulfilling the promise we made to reduce outages and improve the reliability of our system for our customers.”

In addition to reliability improvement, EIMA work has supported 3,600 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in Illinois, including approximately 1,400 FTE jobs at the utility and its contractors.

“ComEd’s continued infrastructure investment aimed at modernizing and bringing innovative digital equipment to the grid is an important component to sustaining Illinois’ economic growth,” said Todd Maisch, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “We are pleased to see consecutive years of strong performance which provides business leaders the assurance that Illinois is the right place for their continued growth and investment.”

In 2012, ComEd formed a storm task force and has made more than 200 enhancements to its storm restoration process. These enhancements included GPS and mobile dispatch technology to more efficiently manage crews to expedite restoration, a mobile operations center to bring ComEd closer to customers in hardest hit areas, and more efficient management of contractor crews. ComEd is continuing to build on these process improvements, with new areas of focus this year including an enhanced damage assessment process, better coordination of vegetation management crews and improved material staging to ensure readiness during severe weather. Over the past two years, process improvements already in place have resulted in a 30 percent improvement in restoration time.

“We are continually striving to improve the service we provide and our customers and communities have told us they are seeing tangible results,” said Donnelly. “We will continue our progress on smart grid to bring even greater service and reliability to our customers.”

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 7.8 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 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 and YouTube.

© Business Wire 2015
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