ComEd releases investment path to achieving cleaner energy by 2030

Published on January 12, 2023 by Chris Galford

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Details of ComEd’s pledge to achieve a low-carbon energy transition in line with Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) were released this week in its ComEd 2030 plan.

The plan will be built on five points: a carbon-free grid, flexibility and resiliency investments, reliability and affordability through technology deployments, empowerment and equity, and straightforward energy choices to build confidence and system security.

“The ComEd electric grid will need to work in new ways to enable millions of electric vehicles hitting the roads and plugging in,” ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones said. “Customers will need easy ways to connect the many thousands of clean distributed energy resources that are coming online, such as wind and solar power and battery storage. And ComEd’s service must remain highly reliable and resilient for customers as climate change challenges us with more severe weather events.”

The carbon-free pillar is straightforward: ComEd seeks to be able to support up to 1.8 million electric vehicles by 2030 with fully carbon-free, 24/7 energy options. Flexibility means making regional infrastructure stronger and more capable of weathering storms and security risks, while the efficiency side of things will entail new technology that prioritizes operations and efficiency while minimizing costs.

The company will emphasize work in historically under-served communities, with a 2030 target of getting customers access to up to $1 billion in cumulative energy assistance. While keeping things simple, ComEd also intends to be able to integrate distributed clean energy resources for approximately 400,000 customers by 2030, allowing all to engage their low-carbon energy transactions intuitively.

In addition to these aspirational goals, ComEd 2030 also identified five changing trends that are influencing how it runs things: the electrification of entire sectors of the economy, rapid expansion of renewable energy and battery storage, climate change-induced severe weather, customer sophistication brought about by technology and, similarly, technology enabling better electric company operators.

“To prepare for the digital and decarbonized future, ComEd has important work ahead,” Quiniones said. “But we start from a position of strength. In the last decade, we have transformed our network into a modern grid. The value delivered to our customers and communities has been substantial.”

ComEd 2030 complements the goals already established by ComEd’s parent company, Exelon, in its Path to Clean, as well as ComEd’s own 2023-2027 Grid Plan. Path to clean called for operations-driven emissions cuts of 50 percent by 2030 and net-zero operations by 2050. On the state side, the aforementioned CEJA seeks decarbonization of the Illinois power sector by 2045.