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Electric utility ComEd has submitted data to the Illinois Commerce Commission showing that its grid modernization initiatives were responsible for creating 2,400 jobs during 2012.

"Our work to bring the electric grid into the 21st century created more new jobs than we anticipated in the first year of the program," says Anne Pramaggiore , president and CEO of ComEd. "As the legislature intended, ComEd is making a positive economic impact as we improve service to our customers and modernize our grid to help keep Illinois competitive."

ComEd's Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act Annual Jobs Creation Report, one of two reports ComEd has filed, shows that the grid modernization programs authorized by the 2011 smart grid law created 785 direct and contractor full-time equivalent jobs, including positions at the utility and outside contractors, along with an estimated 1,700 jobs created from the ripple effect of the $165 million in capital spending on grid modernization programs last year.

ComEd has committed to spending $2.6 billion over 10 years to modernize the electric grid in northern Illinois - over $1.3 billion of which is earmarked to deploy a smart grid system and install smart meters in four million homes and businesses. Last year alone, the utility awarded grid modernization contracts worth a total of $118 million.

"The grid modernization programs are putting many linemen, electricians and specialists who work on our electric grid back to work in well-paying, skilled jobs," says Michael Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO.

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