Upgrading the Grid

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.


2 thoughts on “Upgrading the Grid

  1. Hey, I really like your post and I think you make some very good points. The grid, like many other cites in Chicago need modernization. It’s unfortunate that it cost a great deal of money to create non-renewable sources, energy sources, and etc. Chicago has a great deal of sources for example, CPS schools not having funds or universities not having enough money. I believe Rahm should publicize sustainability as top issue that most people ignore. On the other hand, I think some of the modernization improvements I have seen over the years are the CTA railroads, more bike paths, and etc.


  2. It’s awesome how we live in a state where modernization is happening at such a rapid rate! I hope we can set an example, as well as a demand for other states to also join the wagon, one would say. It will really help improve cities and make them run more efficiently.


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