Chicago’s Smart Grid

 

Up until recently, Chicago (just like much of the United States), had a outdated and not very sustainable electric power system which was around 100 years old. Since energy has a big contribution to green house gas emissions, something had to be done. Fortunately, in 2012 ComEd began modernizing the outdated structure making it more reliable, affordable, and most importantly, sustainable. The smart meter is a big component of the program that allows the users to monitor their power usage more intelligently while providing the company with sufficient data to make improvements. Dating to February 2016, over 950,000 homes were using the smart meter. ComEds goal is to provide more than 4 million homes with smart meter by 2018.

The smart grid program will decrease the need to build more power plants by reducing the peak time demand. The clean grid will also provide opportunities for renewable energy systems and electric vehicles to be intergraded more flexibly. This will also create new jobs in the smart grid industry. New smart appliances and technology will be easier to implement compared to the older system. With this system, the people of Chicago can save money while reducing their energy waste which will benefit the economy and the environment in the long run.

 

Sources:

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/progs/env/smart-grid-for-a-smart-chicago.html

https://us130urbansustainability.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/newsroomreleases_01252016.pdf

http://www.gridwise.org

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