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Illinois' multi-million dollar smart grid plan goes into action

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, September 28, 2012

The $72.5 million plan to upgrade Illinois' aging electric infrastructure went into effect on September 25, which the state debuted at the Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy in Chicago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation is being paid for by the state's two utilities, Commonwealth Edison Co. and Ameren Illinois, and their large customer base throughout the state. The plan, which is considered a major win for utilities, was part of legislation passed last year by the Illinois General Assembly.

The utilities will pay for about $22.5 million in new smart grid technologies, while the rest of the bill will be footed by electricity customers. These funds will also be used to explain the benefits - to both them and the utilities - of upgrading the state's electric network.

"This new entity fills a gap that exists in the Illinois venture capital market today," said Mark Harris, president and CEO of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, which was instrumental in the fund's formation. "It is the only fund focuses on catalyzing the next game changing smart grid and energy ideas."

SUBNET is helping utilities install such systems by providing products and software that help with the collection, management and analysis of smart grid data. 

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