US energy utility ComEd has named GE Energy and Silver Spring Networks as partners for the company’s proposed Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) pilot, the first step in the company’s smart grid deployment.
‘ComEd is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service to our customers every day,’ said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief operating officer, ComEd. ‘After a comprehensive review process, we chose to work with industry leaders GE Energy and Silver Spring Networks to build the foundation of northern Illinois’ own smart grid. This intelligent, dynamic electric delivery system will lead to fewer and shorter outages, stronger system infrastructure and the ability to offer real-time data to help customers make informed choices about their electricity use.’
Earlier this month, ComEd filed its petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) including its recommendation for the meter and information technology partners to participate in the company’s one-year AMI pilot. If approved, approximately 141,000 smart meters will be deployed in 11 suburban communities and the city of Chicago.
GE Energy will provide the smart meters components of an end-to-end smart grid solution, while Silver Spring Networks will provide its wireless network communications, software and services in support of the project. GE’s smart meters equipped with SSN technology will enable ComEd to charge less for electricity used during off-peak hours.
The pilot will test customer interaction with a variety of energy management features and technologies, including alternative pricing plans, web interfaces, in-home displays, home area network control systems and programmable thermostats. It is part of a three-year portfolio of energy efficiency programmes developed to reduce energy consumption, peak load and carbon emissions.
‘Population centers, such as Chicago, are ideal for the energy-saving power of smart grid technologies,’ said Bob Gilligan, vice president, transmission and distribution at GE Energy. ‘By giving people real choice in how they spend – and save – their energy dollars, we move them to a new level of energy awareness.’
‘Silver Spring Networks is honored to work alongside ComEd and GE Energy to deliver the benefits of a truly smart grid to customers in northern Illinois,’ said Scott Lang, chairman, president and CEO of Silver Spring Networks. ‘By embarking on this journey, ComEd is joining other leading utilities around the world – enabling customers to become full participants in building more energy efficient communities.’
ComEd serves approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois. The company plans to eventually deploy a smart grid infrastructure throughout its territory.
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