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ICC Hosts Summer Preparedness Policy Session

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) hosted representatives from Illinois utility companies and the state’s two regional transmission organizations (RTOs) for a policy session on summer preparedness this week. Moderated by ICC Commissioner John R. Rosales, the session featured presentations focused on readiness for the summer’s anticipated high electricity demands.

“This was more than just an opportunity to review our preparations to meet distribution and weather related challenges,” said Commissioner Rosales. “This was an opportunity to examine our recent grid infrastructure improvements, our ability to respond to threats and our communications strategies to swiftly convey vital information during disruptions.”

PJM Interconnection, the wholesale electricity operator for the northern region of Illinois, predicts hot weather this summer will increase demand relative to 2016, but additional resources result in a higher forecasted reserve margin. PJM panelists discussed how transmission upgrades and more efficient technology ensure in advance that power suppliers can meet the region’s needs. MISO, the wholesale electricity provider for central and southern Illinois, also discussed the resiliency of electric service during peak demand, detailing preparedness through inclement weather and extreme system conditions.

Five full years after implementation of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA), Illinois utilities have worked to modernize and strengthen the grid. Representatives from Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd), the largest electricity supplier in Illinois serving approximately 3.8 million customers in the greater Chicago area and northern portions of the state, discussed preparations pre and post EIMA to achieve and maintain a 99.98 percent reliability rate.

Ameren Illinois Company, which serves 1.2 million electric customers in central and southern Illinois, is preparing for an 8.2 percent increase in summer peak demand over 2016, but anticipates it will be closer to a 2.1 percent increase. MidAmerican Energy Company, electricity service provider to approximately 85,000 customers in northwestern Illinois, detailed the significant transmission expansion underway in the MISO footprint to accommodate future increased renewable generation and energy transfers from Iowa to Illinois.

Click here to view the Summer Preparedness Policy Session presentations on the ICC website.