Before 2011, our electric grid was about 100 years old (1). Let that sink in. The same grid has been powering the City of Chicago since World War I. You know, World War I, where planes and tanks made their debut on the battlefield? ComEd and Chicago have partnered up to finally modernize this system, and “…helped position Illinois as second in the nation in the 2015 Grid Modernization Index” (1). In 2012, the City of Chicago released a press statement outlining ComEd and Mayor Emmanuel’s plan for modernizing the grid. The city’s logic behind this upgrade is that “Chicago is building a modern, 21st century economy, but [they’re] powering it with a 20th century electrical grid” (3). At the very least, it is good to see our city finally realizing that it is time to upgrade.
This modernization could not have come at a better time. During a period of history when renewable energy sources are as implemented as burning coal or gas, our grid to be able to accommodate for different technological improvements. Solar and wind energy are not as reliable as non-renewable sources, requiring our grid to be able to “balance out the load” (2) between our various sources of energy. Because of fluctuating energy sources, research is being done into various ways to store this energy for use when it is needed (2).
1)ComEd. ComEd Media Relations. Illinois Move Up to #2 in the Nation for Electrical Grid Modernization. WordPress. N.p., 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 7 Apr. 2016.
2)”The Call for Grid Modernization – Clean Energy Trust.” Clean Energy Trust. N.p., 24 Jan. 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.
3)City of Chicago. Mayor’s Press Office. Mayor Emanuel and ComEd Announce 2,400 Jobs Will Be Created through $1.1 Billion Infastructure Investment. City of Chicago. N.p., 4 Jan. 2012. Web. 7 Apr. 2016.