Picture Energy: Historic Chicago Neighborhood Celebrates 21st Century Power


Bronzeville Microgrid Switched On

Fortnightly Magazine - July 2024

In the first half of the twentieth century, the Bronzeville neighborhood was Chicago’s center of African American culture, much like Harlem was in New York. It is there in the South Side that the nation’s first neighborhood scale microgrid has been completed, a project of the local distribution utility, ComEd.

Among those at the ceremony on May 24 to switch on the microgrid were U.S. Senator Dick Durbin; U.S. DOE Assistant Secretary for Electricity Gene Rodrigues; City of Chicago’s Chief Operating Officer John Roberson; Illinois Commerce Commission’s Commissioner Stacey Paradis; and ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones.

Thus, came to life seven hundred and fifty kilowatts of solar on sixteen roofs of the Dearborn Homes apartment buildings, plus five hundred kilowatts and two megawatt-hours of battery storage. For some thousand customers, this system will island in the event of a disruption to the main grid.

Looking forward, in 2025, the Bronzeville microgrid will be interconnected with the nearby Illinois Institute of Technology microgrid.

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