CHICAGO, June 8, 2005 (PRNewswire) — ComEd officials informed the Chicago City Council Committee on Environmental Protection, Energy and Public Utilities in its annual summer readiness briefing that the company is well positioned to meet summer electricity demand, and that ComEd’s system is performing well and reliability continues to trend in a positive direction.
“ComEd has more than enough energy to meet customer needs, even on the hottest days,” said Frank M. Clark, ComEd President. “We know that ComEd’s ability to provide reliable energy contributes to the quality of life in Chicago, and is a lynchpin of our city’s economic development.”
Seventy-nine percent of Chicago residents experienced one or no outage in the past 12 months. In the first five months of 2005, there have been 55,000 fewer customer interruptions than the same period in 2004, and outages are being restored an average of 30 minutes faster.
Since 2001, ComEd has invested roughly $3 billion in Chicago and Northern Illinois to expand and upgrade its transmission and delivery system. In Chicago, ComEd recently added two new substations to support growth in the central city. The company is also planning the construction of a 345kV line and a 138kV line to serve the Central Business District, West Loop and Near South Side.
“Supporting the city’s economic growth requires strategic planning and effective communication between our company and City government,” said Clark.
To support reliability in areas where more performance improvement is needed, ComEd has focused its efforts to include infrastructure investments, additional lightning protection where needed, ongoing corrective maintenance and repairs, and increased tree-trimming, as tree contact with electrical lines is a leading cause of service interruptions. In his presentation, Clark also highlighted ongoing ComEd-City government initiatives in support of public education, environmental protection and economic development.
Last month, Business Retention and Expansion International recognized The Chicago Industrial Trend Report, produced by ComEd, the City of Chicago and World Business Chicago, as the year’s best big city business retention program in the United States. Mayor Daley said, “Our joint economic development program has helped the City create and enhance services for industrial businesses and plan better for future growth. Chicago is a better place because of this program and the dedication of our partners to industrial retention.”
Forecasted 2005 peak summer load for ComEd’s entire Northern Illinois service territory is 22,700 megawatts (MW), or about 15 percent above last year’s peak. One MW powers approximately 700 homes equipped with air conditioning and modern appliances. ComEd’s reserve margin of 15 percent will provide enough energy to meet our customers’ needs, even on the hottest days.
ComEd also is prepared for the summer storm season by completing priority maintenance items, rolling out summer safety plans, reviewing emergency operating plans and equipment, and conducting emergency response drills. This year, ComEd also has created a new system to better communicate estimated restoration times to customers in the event of an outage.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with more than $14 billion in revenues and a customer base of more than 5 million. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.7 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.