The Galvin Electricity Initiative and Illinois
The Galvin Electricity Initiative has been working since 2006 with the Illinois Institute of Technology on a Perfect Power System design for the University’s campus. With the University facing costly outages, a doubling of electricity prices, aging components, and indications that it is about to outgrow its electricity distribution system, it has partnered with the Initiative, Commonwealth Edison, Endurant Energy and S&C Electric to build the nation’s flagship Perfect Power System. This loop system will both update and add to existing infrastructure to create a system that is absolutely reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly.
Construction has begun on this system, which will pay for itself as it is built via rate relief, deferring substation development and upgrades, and avoiding outage costs. This cutting-edge project will generate fundraising and research opportunities for the University.
Additionally, the Galvin Electricity Initiative sponsored the Illinois Smart Grid Initiative workshops facilitated by the Center for Neighborhood Technologies, where cities first expressed their concerns regarding reliability and consumer empowerment. Through these and subsequent meetings, it became clear that many cities were seeking to work with ComEd, the Initiative, and other stakeholders to significantly improve reliability, lower carbon, increase conservation, and improve their competitiveness. These interactions led to the creation of the Electricity Consumer Principles, a bill of rights representing a vision for electricity governance.
As evidenced by these principles, reliability is a significant issue for cities and consumers in Illinois. The Initiative is working to educate stakeholders on how system improvements that impact reliability will lower overall costs, and thus justify investments. To this end, the Initiative is executing a workshop with the city of Oak Park that will explore how residents can develop a Community Energy Plan for achieving specific carbon, cost, and conservation objectives, with the goal of creating a local Perfect Power System.