ComEd will host three open houses in July to seek input from the public regarding the utility's proposed Grand Prairie Gateway Project, a new 345kV electric transmission line to be constructed between ComEd's existing substations near the communities of Byron and Wayne. The new line will connect these substations and travel across Ogle, DeKalb, Kane and DuPage counties and will serve millions of customers in northern Illinois.
ComEd representatives will provide an overview of the project along with criteria for selecting the route for the proposed transmission line, which will include single-pole steel structures. Three sessions are scheduled:
- July 9 at the Kings Elementary School, 100 First St., Kings;
- July 10 at the South Elgin Lions Club, 500 Fulton St., South Elgin; and
- July 11 at the Sycamore Veterans Association, 121 S. California St., Sycamore.
ComEd encourages the general public to attend the events anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. ComEd chose the locations to allow residents in each county to participate, and each Open House will feature the same information. The project study area can be viewed at ComEd.com/GrandPrairieGateway.
High-voltage electricity is moved across the electric grid by transmission lines. PJM Interconnection, the independent regional transmission grid operator and planner for the ComEd service territory, has selected the Grand Prairie Gateway Project as the best solution for addressing current system congestion and ensuring the continued efficient flow of electricity across northern Illinois. The proposed line will alleviate congestion and reduce costs. It also adds a third west-east path across the ComEd territory, which provides ComEd with more options to meet customer needs.
"Just like highways that don't have enough lanes, transmission lines with insufficient capacity become congested over time, creating a traffic jam that blocks the flow of energy and increases the cost of delivering it to customers," said Terence Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer, ComEd. "We're eager to meet with our customers, answer their questions and explain the benefits this project will deliver for many years."
The project is needed for compliance with PJM and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations. It also requires approval by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) following a public proceeding. Through an integrated process incorporating input from the public and community stakeholders, ComEd will identify a primary route for the transmission line and at least one alternate route with the project study area. The final route must be approved by the ICC.
ComEd expects to file a request for approval with the ICC before the end of 2013, and the Commission has up to 225 days to announce its decision. The project is anticipated to be completed and begin service by June 2017.