in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

Chicago-based ComEd, which installed 470 distribution automation (DA) devices in 2012, says the technology resulted in 82,000 fewer customer power interruptions last year. For example, DA devices prevented 20,000 service interruptions during severe storms that hit the Chicago area in mid-April.

By remotely monitoring and controlling grid operations, DA devices, or "smart switches," are a central feature of smart grid technology and ComEd's effort to reduce the frequency and duration of outages, the utility explains.

Under the state’s 2011 smart grid law, ComEd invested a total of $32 million in the installation of DA in 2012 and plans to boost the investment to over $44 million this year. Over the course of the 10-year grid modernization program, the utility is increasing the number of customers served by DA to nearly 90%.

"Just as today's smartphone technology merged the power of computers with cellular phones, smart grid technology merges the power of computers with the electric grid," says Mike McMahan, ComED vice president of smart grid and technology.

"With distribution automation, if a tree were to fall on a utility pole resulting in an interruption, far fewer customers would be impacted because it enables us to better isolate the damaged section," McMahan continues. "DA introduces a self-healing capability to the electric grid by allowing us to resolve issues before customers might even be aware of them, and that has a profoundly positive impact on people's daily lives."


Hybrid Energy Innovations

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Latest Top Stories

Global Smart Grid Tech Revenue Slated For Solid Growth

According to a report from Navigant Research, annual revenue for smart grid technologies will reach over $70 billion within the next 10 years.


Utilities Partner With Energy Storage To Harness Renewables

As utilities struggle to incorporate the increased use of intermittent renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind power, onto the grid, the power providers are looking to energy storage.


Smart Meter Fire Probe Points To Sensus Design 'Shortcomings'

There has been more fallout in Saskatchewan: An investigation into SaskPower's halted smart meter program says Sensus Generation 3.3 units "have a tendency to leak" and the utility mishandled the rollout.


Two Years After Superstorm Sandy, Utilities Highlight Grid Efforts

As the U.S. reflects on the monster hurricane that struck in October 2012, utilities note what they have done to help protect against future severe weather.


USDA Invests $1.4 Billion To Boost Rural Grids Around The Country

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced more loan guarantees for rural power companies and renewable energy firms in 21 states.

S&C Electric_id176
edf_id180