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ComEd Selects Enchanted Rock for Bronzeville Community Microgrid Project

Feb. 8, 2021
Microgrid to provide power resiliency in an emergency.

ComEd, which serves more than 4 million customers in northern Illinois, has selected Enchanted Rock to provide managed power resiliency for its Bronzeville Community Microgrid project on Chicago's South Side. Enchanted Rock's natural gas-fueled generation will help ensure that community power needs are met during disruptive events by integrating distributed energy resources, including solar PV and energy storage. The demonstration microgrid is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission in 2018, the microgrid is demonstrating resilience-building technologies and the integration of utility-enabled renewable power. By connecting to a microgrid on the campus of Illinois Tech, the Bronzeville Community Microgrid will create the nation's first utility-operated microgrid cluster and provide an opportunity to study the interaction and sharing of energy resources. The microgrid will serve more than 1,000 residences, businesses and public institutions, including the headquarters of the Chicago Police and Fire Departments. If there is a major disruption to ComEd's main grid, the microgrid is expected to enable first responders to meet the needs of customers in its footprint and the broader region.  

"Enchanted Rock will help us ensure the Bronzeville microgrid provides continuous power in the event of a major interruption and it will do so cost effectively and with lower emissions," said Michelle Blaise, senior vice president of Technical Services, ComEd. "The Enchanted Rock solution provides clean, fast-response power resiliency that integrates with our existing solar and battery storage assets in support of our clean grid goals."

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Enchanted Rock will own and operate the microgrid's power generating system and use its integrated Reliability on Call (iROC) service to deliver long-duration backup power with the cleanest technology available. Round-the-clock monitoring by the company's Microgrid Network Operations Center helps identify and address issues before they become problems. Power Solutions International, Inc. (PSI), headquartered in Wood Dale, Illinois, supplies Enchanted Rock's engines and gensets from its plants in the Chicago area and the Great Lakes region.

"ComEd's Bronzeville project is recognized as one of the most innovative microgrid designs in the nation," said Thomas McAndrew, founder and CEO of Enchanted Rock. "We're excited to partner with ComEd to demonstrate the ability of microgrids to keep power flowing to communities and critical infrastructure while supporting the use of renewable energy resources."   

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