ComEd Selects Siemens Microgrid Software for Bronzeville Microgrid Cluster

March 27, 2018
Commonwealth Edison will use Siemens microgrid software as the platform to manage a microgrid cluster the Exelon subsidiary plans to develop in Chicago’s South Side.

Commonwealth Edison will use Siemens microgrid software as the platform to manage a microgrid cluster that the Exelon subsidiary plans to develop in Chicago’s South Side.

ComEd’s choice of the software marks the first major announcement on the Bronzeville microgrid, since it won approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission February 28.

The utility plans to integrate the microgrid with another that is operated on the nearby campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), creating a cutting edge microgrid cluster or microgrid-of-microgrids. The project is a forerunner to what’s expected to be growing interaction among microgrids as more are built. Such clusters are expected to improve microgrid efficiencies, redundancies, cost-effectiveness and their environmental profile.

Scope of DERMS. Courtesy of Siemens

“Our goal is to successfully exhibit the first utility-operated microgrid cluster in the world, an approach we believe will bring energy customers an unprecedented level of power security and resilience,” said Terence Donnelly, ComEd’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Bringing together Siemens’ extensive experience in the utility software development and implementation space with our efforts will help keep power flowing for our customers.”

ComEd’s choice of Siemens microgrid software was announced today in Chicago at Siemens’ annual U.S. Innovation Day.

The project will allow ComEd to take full advantage of work funded by two grants awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE). The first grant supported the development and testing of a microgrid controller; the second is focused on studying how large amounts of solar PV and batteries can be integrated into a microgrid.

“ComEd has shown extraordinary leadership and vision including winning two prestigious grants for this innovative project, and we are proud that they have chosen Siemens to play an integral role in helping make it a reality,” said Mike Carlson, president of Siemens Digital Grid, North America. “Using our microgrid management software, the utility will be able to take a significant step forward in redefining America’s energy landscape, namely how to use distributed grid architecture in form of microgrids will power our grid as reliably, resiliently, and efficiently as possible.”

“A significant step forward in redefining America’s energy landscape…” Michael Carlson, Siemens

ComEd will use Siemens Microgrid Management System software (MGMS) as the platform to manage the microgrid cluster. ComEd’s software development includes advanced algorithms to manage and optimize the use of distributed energy resources for multiple microgrids. As a next step, ComEd will integrate its algorithms with Siemens microgrid software to implement control actions for the microgrid installations.

The Bronzeville Community Microgrid is expected to directly serve about 1,060 customers, including those providing critical services like the Chicago Police Department headquarters. ComEd is developing the project to demonstrate and test microgrid technology and advance its use.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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