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Smart grid bill takes the next step, Senate moves forward with legislation

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Tuesday, October 25, smart grid opponent Governor Pat Quinn lost his long-fought battle to convince Illinois lawmakers to agree to strike down the smart grid bill.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois Senate approved what is being called the "trailer bill" on Tuesday that tacked utility concessions onto the legislation, which was heavily supported by Commonwealth Edison Co., a utility subsidiary of Chicago's Exelon Corp.

The bill has now passed to the House, and if it finds success there, will be the subject of a vote in both chambers, deciding whether to override Quinn's original veto.

Responding to remarks made by the Governor insinuating that the bill was driven by greed, state Senator Don Harmon stated that "there is nothing in this trailer bill that is controversial." ComEd stated that the official's approval of the bill was encouraging, and that awareness of a smart grid that can replace the old, existing electrical infrastructure was crucial.

According to Renew Grid Magazine, the bill was sponsored by Harmon, and included a number of changes that would support implementation of the smart grid and other forms of electrical infrastructure modernization.

On Wednesday, October 26, the bill moved to the Illinois House Public Utilities Committee, where a 17-1 vote determined that it should be recommended to the full chamber that the legislation should be passed, Ameren Illinois spokesman Leigh Morris stated.

"I anticipate that the House will take that up today," he told the news source. "Once they do, I would anticipate that the Senate will, in fairly short order, take up the question of overriding [the veto]."

If the Senate and the House both agree to override the original veto of the smart grid bill, the legislation will immediately become law. The final date for the Senate to take action is Thursday, October 27.

Now that the trailer bill has passed the Senate, the veto of the original bill must also be approved. If this happens, the media outlet states, the House will then have until November 12 to make a decision.

Rising awareness of the smart grid is spreading throughout the nation, and as more cities are looking toward its implementation, utilities will need to maintain a knowledge and infrastructure supportive of the new grid.

SUBNET Solutions Inc. offers utilities such necessities by working with utilities on smart grid integration, primarily in substation automation and secure remote access.  

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