Driving Innovation

A new power-full beginning in America

October 5, 2017

When Ana Manzanares was a child in her native El Salvador, she recalls the ecstatic shouts of her neighbors when power had been restored after weeks, even months, of not having electricity.

“La luz!! La luz, ya vino la luz!!” they cheered.

Ana’s tiny village only had one transformer to provide power to approximately 300 residents.

Now, as an adult living in Chicago, Ana harnesses the memory of that enthusiasm by working on ways to facilitate the process to interconnect solar-powered electricity to ComEd customers in northern Illinois.

“Being involved in innovation at ComEd is very fulfilling,” says Ana, who serves as a principal contract specialist with ComEd.

Ana left El Salvador in 1995 to join her family in Chicago. She was 12 years old.

“My mother dreamed of us living in a safer place than El Salvador, which was experiencing a civil war,” Ana says. “She wanted us to move someplace without the guerillas and the soldiers who were taking people from their homes against their will.”

Not only did the United States represent safety, it represented a rich future for Ana and her 10 siblings who grew up in the Rogers Park and Albany Park neighborhoods.

“My mom wanted us to go someplace where we could get a good education, and her dream came true,” Ana says.

Ana earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University. Ana joined ComEd in 2010 and has been focusing her skills on bringing innovative energy ideas to life.

Watch this video learn how Ana uses solar, wind and battery energy storage to power ComEd customers.