GE partners with Commonwealth Edison for major substation system overhaul

DULUTH, Ga., Oct. 15, 2001 — GE Industrial Systems, a division of the General Electric Company, has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Commonwealth Edison Company to provide engineering and construction services for ComEd electric utility substations outside of the Chicago central business district.

The cost of the project is estimated at $150 million to $200 million.

Under the terms of the contract, GE will provide all engineering and design, equipment procurement, construction services and overall project management to construct new substations and upgrade yearly approximately 30 to 40 of the more than 500 existing substations in ComEd’s northern Illinois service area.

The utility’s goal is to improve service reliability for its 3.4 million electricity customers by systematically upgrading its transmission and distribution network. This project is part of ComEd’s comprehensive system upgrade plan launched in 1999.

GE will work jointly with ComEd to assess, plan and execute the substation work, bringing quality methodologies from GE’s Six Sigma initiative to add a significant, overall productivity improvement dimension to this upgrade program. Many of the 30-plus employees GE will dedicate to this project will be integrated with ComEd’s project team at the utility’s Chicago offices.

“This strategic alliance demonstrates ComEd’s innovative approach to accelerating key programs to benefit its customers and shareholders,” said Mark Sydow, general manager of GE Industrial Systems’ Engineering Services business. “GE brings extensive experience in turnkey substation projects, combined with Six Sigma-based engineering and project management, and a shared passion for safety, reliability and cost reduction.”

“The goal from the start was to create an alliance with a company whose -edge work in this arena was well-documented,” stated Jim Williams, ComEd’s vice president, project and contract management. “Our companies have a successful history of working together and GE’s innovative ideas, along with the firm’s extensive T&D capabilities throughout its business units, convinced us that this was the right choice.”

GE will also partner with Chicago-based Patrick Engineering, which has a long association with ComEd, for some engineering services and with several area construction companies. GE will provide all construction management, site testing and commissioning services for the substations.

Equipment requirements will include items such as power transformers, high voltage breakers, medium voltage switchgear, capacitors, arrestors, protective relaying and power management systems. GE Harris Energy Control Systems will provide substation automation equipment for the project.

Commonwealth Edison, a subsidiary of the Exelon Corporation, is the primary electric services delivery company for the northern Illinois region, serving about 70 percent of the state’s population. Exelon Corporation is headquartered in Chicago and is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. The company was formed in 2000 by a merger of PECO Energy Company and Unicom Corporation.

GE has been involved in the installation of substation equipment and systems for more than 80 years, including turnkey or EPC (engineer/procure/ construct) projects for high voltage substations, power plant switchyards, reactive compensation and FACTS systems.

GE Industrial Systems (, one of GE’s major businesses, is a global leader in manufacturing products used to distribute, protect and control electrical power and equipment, and supplying product and service solutions for commercial, industrial, residential and utility applications. GE is the world’s largest diversified technology, manufacturing and services company with a commitment to achieving worldwide leadership.

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