Driving Innovation

Powering Through Severe Weather

June 27, 2023

Powering Through Severe Weather

ComEd is committed to maintaining the record-breaking reliability customers across northern Illinois have come to expect. But as catastrophic grid failures in places like Texas and California have shown, reliable power is not a given and requires continued investment in our electric infrastructure.

Severe and destructive weather caused by climate change is already impacting northern Illinois. We’ve seen increased frequency of high temperatures, flooding, tornadoes and destructive storms with high winds and extreme temperatures.

And this extreme weather is expected to continue. By 2050, northern Illinois is likely to see warmer, more humid conditions, according to a study we conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory’s Center for Climate Resilience and Decision Science.

These changing conditions will pose new challenges to the grid and will require us to be proactive in managing those risks to maintain our nation-leading reliability. As extreme weather events increase, the need to invest in the reliability of the power system grows.

“Our customers today enjoy record-setting reliability at one of the lowest rates in America,” said ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones. “Using this regional climate data, we can plan the grid investments necessary to ensure we continue to deliver reliable, resilient energy to our customers, even as the grid must handle more severe weather and increased demand due to decarbonization.”

ComEd’s multi-year plans, shared earlier this year, will prioritize modernizing the electric grid to ensure it remains reliable and resilient as severe weather events become more common, strengthen the region’s infrastructure and economy, and increase access to the benefits of clean energy and decarbonization under Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). These plans outline ComEd’s investments to improve service reliability and storm response, including:

  • Upgrading and replacing poor-performing or obsolete cable, wood poles, and other equipment;
  • Trimming or removing trees near power lines; and
  • Deploying advanced analytics that help prevent power outages and improve restoration of service to customers.

Our customers deserve the reliable power they have come to expect, and that can only be possible if we prepare the grid today for the storms of tomorrow. To read more about ComEd’s multi-year plans, click here.