To provide reliable energy required to power world-renowned user facilities that enable groundbreaking discoveries in energy, transportation, and treatments such as vaccines to help fight COVID-19, ComEd is building a new substation at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.
The 138-kilovolt substation is the latest collaboration between ComEd and Argonne to ensure reliable energy for critical research. Argonne’s Lemont campus is home to six national user facilities used by thousands of scientists from around the world each year. These unique facilities include world-leading computing facilities, a giant X-ray microscope larger than Wrigley Field and 10 billion times brighter than medical x-rays and the forthcoming Aurora exascale supercomputer, which will be one of the world’s most powerful computers and help to accelerate breakthroughs in cancer treatments and neuroscience. This substation will be the third substation ComEd has delivered on the Argonne campus.
“As the needs of our customers change, we work with them to upgrade infrastructure to ensure they have reliable energy to meet their needs,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO, ComEd. “The work at Argonne is critical in unlocking new technologies that will expand clean energy, lead to new medical treatments and fight climate change. Our substation will provide energy to several of the lab’s existing facilities while also ensuring enough capacity to power future facilities like the Aurora exascale supercomputer.”
For much of Argonne’s work, reliable energy is a critical factor in completing research. ComEd, over the last 12 months, delivered its most reliable service on record. Since starting smart grid investments in 2012, ComEd has avoided more than 17 million customer interruptions due in part to smart grid and system improvements. These investments have helped save customers more than $3.1 billion in avoided outages and many millions more through efficiencies created by technologies like smart meters and distribution automation.
“Argonne’s partnership with ComEd drives energy innovation and enhances resilience of critical grid infrastructure to future climate change impacts,” said Argonne Director Paul Kearns. “Our shared mission will provide reliable, sustainable energy and help transition our national laboratory and the surrounding community toward a net zero future.”
ComEd and Argonne’s Center for Climate Resilience and Decision Science also are working together to better understand how climate change will impact the power grid in northern Illinois. Recently, the pair announced a comprehensive Climate Risk and Adaptation Study, which will examine the impact of changing weather due to climate change, including sustained heat and flooding risk, on the design and performance of the grid. It’s the first study to be launched in concert with the Electric Power Research Institute's Climate READi™: Power (REsilience and ADaptation initiative), a three-year global program on climate change risk.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube