Commonwealth Edison has launched a pilot energy storage project in Beecher, Ill., about 40 miles south of Chicago.
ComEd says the aim of the Community Energy Storage (CES) project is to improve reliability for customers experiencing multiple interruptions, particularly in extreme weather.
The project will use the PureWave Community Energy Storage system from S&C Electric that features a 25-kWh lithium-ion battery.
ComEd is taking an active interest in energy storage and microgrids.
The utility was frustrated in its efforts to install a 10 MW microgrid in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood when provisions covering it and other microgrids in the city were stripped from the Future Energy Jobs bill that passed in December.
Spokesman David O’Dowd said ComEd is “still exploring a pathway to make the microgrid a reality, but it is not clear what that will be.”
ComEd originally wanted to put the microgrid in rate base.
The Beecher project, however, is a different animal. It will be put in rate base, and does not need any special provisions, says O’Dowd.
The project calls for S&C storage devices will be installed near existing ComEd equipment to provide power to the homes of Beecher customers selected for the pilot. In the event of a power outage, the energy storage system will automatically restore power.
“We’re excited about the potential that battery storage offers to minimize the impact of a power outage while we continue to make progress in preventing them,” Michelle Blaise, senior vice president for technical services at ComEd, said in a statement.