Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act Going to Work in Arlington Heights, Nearby Communities

The General Assembly enacted the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act on October 27, 2011 — Governor Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 1652. In the hours leading up to final vote, the General Assembly also passed a separate trailer bill introduced earlier in the week that added provisions toughening utility performance standards, lowering the allowed return on equity and establishing a fund to assist low-income customers, seniors and disabled veterans with their utility bills.

The approved bill set in motion a $2.6 billion investment by ComEd to strengthen and modernize the state’s electric grid. According to Com Ed the groundbreaking legislation will create thousands of jobs, improve system reliability, provide new ways for consumers to save on their energy bills and establish the most progressive accountability-based regulatory model in the country.

The final package authorizes implementation of a 10-year, $2.6 billion investment program by ComEd to strengthen the existing electric system, while adding new digital smart technology. the bill’s passage means a variety of benefits now will become reality for Illinois.

A Smart Grid will improve overall system reliability, reducing outages and improving power restoration while allowing consumers to save money through a set of new Smart Grid-related efficiencies. Smart meters will help consumers save on energy costs by providing options for new pricing plans, better managing energy use and becoming eligible for new rebates by reducing power usage in peak hours.

The trailer bill also re-directed $200 million toward targeted “undergrounding” of overhead lines, tree- resistant overhead conductors and other storm hardening solutions to strengthen the distribution system in the wake of the historic storm season of 2011. These solutions are in addition to the inspection and replacement of residential underground cable and mainline cable programs that are also a prominent piece of SB 1652.

Underground cable work will involve replacement of 17,900 feet of underground cable near Dundee Road and Route 53, Rand and Palatine, Lake Cook and Arlington Heights Road, New Wilke and West Kirchhoff, and Central and Kirchhoff.

Underground cable is also scheduled for replacement nearby in Buffalo Grove, Inverness, Rolling Meadows, and Schaumburg.

Senate Bill 1652 was sponsored in the House by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Orland Park) and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Jacobs (D-Moline). The trailer bill adding new provisions to the Smart Grid legislation was developed by Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park).

See also …
Bill Status of SB1652 97th General Assembly