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Illinois Institute of Technology

ComEd's smart grid test sites spark little interest

ComEd's smart grid test sites spark little interest

Commonwealth Edison said it was about economic development in 2011 when it sold Illinois lawmakers on its dream to build a futuristic digital electrical grid.

The new $2.6 billion grid, paid for by electricity customers, the utility said, would establish Illinois as a hub for high-tech jobs and innovative companies that would test technology on a portion of the grid it dubbed the Smart Grid Test Bed.

Three years into the rollout, ComEd hasn't seen the traction it expected.

Despite widespread efforts on the part of the company to create a groundswell around the technology, just one startup company has successfully tested on the test bed (a simple sensor) after several...