ComEd Reaches Highest Levels of Reliability as Severe Weather Events Challenge Power Grids

Investments have helped prevent more than 17 million customer outages since 2011 

 ComEd in 2021 delivered some of its highest levels of year-over-year reliability as a result of power grid investments such as smart switches that reroute power around potential problem areas, new storm hardening and vegetation management solutions, and cable replacement. Since grid improvements began in 2011, overall reliability has improved 68 percent. ComEd has avoided more than 17 million outages for customers, saving more than $3 billion in outage costs. 

Utilities must continue to invest in the power grid to address severe weather and rapid increases in renewable energy and electric vehicles. ComEd has proven itself as a national leader in the use of advanced technologies to benefit its customers and communities and ensure the region remains competitive. 

“To meet the needs of our customers, ComEd continues to modernize the grid to deliver the reliable power that our customers and communities need to live, work and succeed in a 21st century economy,” said Terence Donnelly, president and chief operating officer of ComEd. “In the face of increasing and more intense weather events, our investments have enabled ComEd to reach new heights of reliability while laying the foundation for future technologies that expand renewables and support Illinois customers and communities as we transition to a clean energy economy.” 

Grid investments have provided customers reliable power but have also paved the way for ComEd customers to realize the full potential of digital grid technology, providing access to more clean energy options like solar, wind and more. At the same time, ComEd’s rates today are among the most competitive in the nation: Average residential rates are 17 percent lower than the 10 top U.S. metro areas, and average commercial rates are 18 percent lower than the top 20 U.S. metro areas. As a percentage of residents’ median income, ComEd’s residential electricity cost is nearly the lowest in the country. 

“Investments we’re making in the grid are already helping us reduce the number and duration of customer interruptions,” said Donnelly. “As we invest in technology that brings more renewable energy to the grid, we can both reduce emissions while improving the resiliency of the system.” 

In August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that outlined the widespread, rapid and intensifying impacts of the climate crisis due to fossil-fuel emissions. The report called out the need for the electric grid to be more resilient because it is often the last line of defense for residents and businesses.

In addition to producing strong power reliability, Illinois’ competitive electricity supply market helped to attract significant business expansion across ComEd’s northern Illinois service territory. In 2021 alone, ComEd’s Economic Development Team helped support the launch of 16 new industrial projects representing 548 MW of new committed capacity-enough to power 155,000 homes. These new projects will collectively support 4,700 new jobs and $3 billion in investment for the region. 

“Reliable and clean energy are great assets to Illinois and top priorities for companies making location decisions,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “ComEd’s investment in infrastructure is key to bringing business to the state.” 

Advanced manufacturing dupage

Excel in Automation

Attention Advanced Manufacturing Companies in DuPage: Would you like to see how you measure up against your peers? 

Choose DuPage has partnered with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) to implement a one-time program for manufacturing companies called Excel In Automation. The purpose of this program is to help advanced manufacturing companies in DuPage County assess their automation and advanced manufacturing performance and how they measure up against their manufacturing peers.

Participants will receive a benchmarking report and learn about the next steps they can take toward enterprise excellence based on what other manufacturers are doing. There is no cost to participate, a limited time commitment, and lots of valuable information for your company.

In order to participate, the manufacturing company must follow three steps:
  1. Click here to register for Excel in Automation
  2. Complete the Excel in Automation online self-assessment tool within 10 days of receiving the assessment link
  3. Participate in a virtual workshop on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 from 10:00am – 12:00pm
Workshop agenda:
  • Summary of aggregated results from the assessment will be presented
  • Participate in a facilitated discussion tailored to the results of the assessment
  • Ask questions of Advanced Manufacturing Technology specialists
  • Learn from other manufacturers about best practices and ideas for implementation
  • Receive a benchmarking report

Register for Excel in Automation


industrial warehouses

For industrial warehouses, DuPage offers prime location

In 2017, U.S. consumers purchased about $424 billion in ecommerce goods.

By 2021, demand had nearly doubled, with $767 billion in annual sales.

And by 2025, demand will nearly double again, with annual sales expected to surpass $1.3 trillion.

In terms of demand, it couldn’t be clearer where ecommerce is heading. Experts anticipate that demand will continue to rise for the foreseeable future as online retailers like Amazon further expand their reach and consumers increasingly opt for at-home shopping experiences.

What’s somewhat less clear is how retailers will keep up. In order to meet consumer demands – particularly for services like rapid shipping – online retailers rely on a vast network of industrial warehouses to store product and move goods. Nowhere are these industrial properties more necessary than dense urban areas, where the majority of the nation’s consumers live. And nowhere is the market for industrial space more competitive.

One of the nation’s largest markets is Chicagoland. With more than 10 million residents in the Chicago metropolitan area, the market is huge, and so is the potential for online retailers. However, opening a warehouse in the densest areas of Chicago can be unfeasible, due to cost or logistical complications. That’s why many retailers have turned to suburbs within the metro, such as DuPage County.

DuPage County’s strategic location amid the Chicagoland market

Located just west of downtown Chicago, DuPage County has long been a regional hub for transportation, as well as corporate headquarters, regional office spaces, education, science, technology and advanced manufacturing, among other industries. But in recent years, following ecommerce trends, DuPage has become a popular hub for industrial warehouses, used by retailers to serve Chicagoland’s vast consumer base.

Hence DuPage County’s industrial vacancy rate, which, as of January 2022, was at a historic low of 3.2%.

For online retailers, part of DuPage’s appeal is its proximity to the Chicago area’s massive consumer base. Using the area’s seven major interstates, retailers can quickly and efficiently move goods to any of the 10 million residents in Chicagoland. They can also access 28 of the top 30 cities in the Midwest within an eight-hour drive.

In addition to highways, DuPage is also uniquely positioned to take advantage of the region’s transportation infrastructure. The area is home to three international airports, including Midway, the DuPage Airport, and O’Hare, the top U.S. cargo airport based on value of shipments.

Meanwhile, the region is also home to the nation’s busiest rail gateway – fifty-percent of all U.S. rail freight passes through Chicago’s rail system by way of DuPage County – as well as the nation’s largest inland port, the Centerpoint Intermodal Center.

Besides the transportation infrastructure, industrial buildings for rent in DuPage benefit from a lower cost of doing business – you can view local tax rates here or take a look at the region’s latest economic indicators report – a large skilled workforce, and a collaborative environment in which businesses along the supply chain work together, along with public leaders, to support one another and create mutually beneficial outcomes.

Finding industrial real estate in DuPage

With all the benefits we mentioned above, DuPage has become a prime location for industrial warehouses. And that has resulted in a record-low vacancy rate.

While it’s a mark of a healthy economy, a low vacancy rate can make it tough for businesses to find new industrial land, industrial buildings for sale, or industrial buildings for lease. (One of the few industrial lots in DuPage currently available is at the DuPage Business Center, a 640-acre space with business sites for sale or build-to-suit from five to 60 acres.)

Fortunately for businesses, more space is set to open soon. There are currently 3.4 million square-feet of new industrial space under construction in DuPage County, as developers across the region quite literally lay the groundwork for the future.

To learn more about transportation, logistics and warehousing in DuPage County, start here.