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Illinois Institute of Technology Leads Statewide Initiative to Create Jobs and National Hub for Smart Grid

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) announced today a $120 million statewide initiative to speed the adoption of the Smart Grid in Illinois. IIT is leading the Illinois Smart Grid collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, Village of Oak Park and more than 50 companies to make Illinois a hub for the effective innovation, validation, deployment and evaluation of Smart Grid technology.

This initiative seeks to bring $60 million in federal stimulus money to Illinois to lower electricity bills, reduce blackouts, make energy cleaner and create green jobs.

What is the Illinois Smart Grid Collaboration?

  • The Illinois Smart Grid Collaboration is a statewide public-private partnership led by IIT and UIUC to speed the adoption of the Smart Grid in Illinois and nationally. Key private and municipal partnerships include Commonwealth Edison, Ameren, the City of Chicago, the Village of Oak Park, the Galvin Electricity Initiative and more than 50 companies.
  • The Collaboration applied as a Smart Grid Regional Demonstration project, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, seeking $60 million (50% match) from the US Department of Energy (DoE) for the project.
  • The Collaboration is nationally significant in that it is working to speed the effective adoption of the Smart Grid through a unique community, consumer, and market-based approach. With engagement at each of these levels, this project provides a format to ensure the expected benefits of SmartGrid adoption are widely adopted.

The Collaboration has four primary components:

  1. The Illinois Institute of Technology Perfect Power System: A complete, replicable, and scalable demonstration of a “never-fail” Smart Grid that would eliminate blackouts and make our energy cleaner, more secure and more efficient.
  2. The Oak Park Community Demonstration: A demonstration of the technological, financial and policy investments communities can make right now, in coordination with their utilities, to leverage Smart Grid Advanced Metering Infrastructure (Smart Meter) investments to achieve cheaper, more efficient, and more reliable energy in homes and businesses. The demonstration will begin with Oak Park, Illinois and expand to other communities.
  3. The Illinois Institute of Technology Smart Grid Demonstration Center: A comprehensive technology development, demonstration, and evaluation platform for Smart Grid technologies that will allow companies to “plug-in” to an existing Smart Grid (IIT’s Perfect Power System) to speed the development of their new Smart Grid technologies and products.
  4. The University of Illinois Smart Grid Validation Facility: An incubator, laboratory and advanced test bed that will allow companies to validate their smart grid technologies to ensure they are used in trustworthy configurations that meet cyber security and interoperability standards before they are implemented on the grid.

Benefits to Illinois

  • Lower electricity bills through the Community Implementation model
  • Blackout mitigation and elimination of other power interruptions for homes and businesses
  • Cleaner energy, and reduced carbon emission, by reducing peak demand for electricity
  • Access to the newest and most reliable Smart Grid technology
  • Product innovation, entrepreneurial opportunity and other economic development spurred by the IIT Smart Grid Demonstration Center and the UIUC Smart Grid Validation Facility
  • New green jobs growth as a result of by Community Smart Grid Implementations and new technology development initiatives
  • New green job training operated by the IIT Smart Grid Demonstration Center

Background on ARRA Smart Grid funds

  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided nearly $4 billion in competitive funding for the Department of Energy (DoE) to expedite the deployment of a more technologically advanced national energy grid and to support investment in the development of secure, energy efficient products that will allow American consumers and businesses to tap into greener sources of power and use less energy.
  • Included in this funding is $615 million for regional demonstration projects that can quantify smart grid costs, demonstrate the benefits of large-scale adoption, verify technology viability, and examine new business models.
  • The Illinois Smart Grid Collaboration is applying for $60 million in

About Illinois Institute of Technology

Founded in 1890, IIT is a Ph.D.-granting university with more than 7,300 students in engineering, sciences, architecture, psychology, design, humanities, business and law. IIT’s interprofessional, technology-focused curriculum is designed to advance knowledge through research and scholarship, to cultivate invention improving the human condition, and to prepare students from throughout the world for a life of professional achievement, service to society, and individual fulfillment. Visit iit.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Tanya Pantone, 312-567-6930
Media Relations Specialist
tpantone@iit.edu

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