Yesterday, a petition was submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) by ComEd to approve the application for federal stimulus money that would fund half of the $350 million Smart Grid pilot. According to ComEd, if this is approved and the entire $350 million is funded, this could add 180,000 customers to its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and finance other technological advances that would greatly reduce the amount of customer interruptions.
Comed looks to get stimulus money for Smart Grid pilot program.
The petition takes it a step further and requests that ComEd is allowed to recover the remaining costs of the stimulus projects after receipt of the half from the Department of Energy. ComEd believes that the approval by the ICC will greatly increase the chances that the DOE will give them the money. They feel that it will demonstrate, along with the other 100 letters the DOE has received, that ComEd is a good place to invest federal stimulus funds.
“ICC support will greatly increase the chance that the DOE will select ComEd’s application, as it will demonstrate strong local interest to put federal stimulus funds into action,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief operating officer, ComEd. “By tapping up to $175 million in federal stimulus funds, we can accelerate and multiply Smart Grid benefits to our customers and reduce customer costs.”
If the DOE does approve the request by ComEd, consumers can expect to see their energy bill rise by 35 cents per month starting April 2010. This half a percent increase is based on the average $77 a month bill.
The money for this comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that was put into place by President Barack Obama to try and boost the economy. According to ComEd, if they are able to develop this Smart Grid pilot, it will create around 3,800 jobs in Norther Illinois. They also plan on deploying more Smart Grid meters in their territory as well as advanced pricing and billing operations.
If ComEd is approved, they are likely to receive $175 million, half of the total $350 million they need. This will likely provide the necessary funds to get things rolling.