Chicago Tribune slams Illinois regulators


By Jesse Berst


The Chicago Tribune took sides in the ongoing slapfest over ComEd's troubled grid modernization efforts. As you may recall, the $3.2 billion program was passed by the Illinois State Legislature over the veto of Gov. Pat Quinn.


In an editorial, the Tribune claims that the Governor now has his regulators doing his dirty work, writing that "it looks now as though his appointees to the Illinois Commerce Commission are trying, in effect, to uphold his veto" by blocking the investments.


The ICC has blocked ComEd on a dozen technical issues that, all told, are worth about $100 million to the utility. ComEd says it can't proceed unless it can reap most of that revenue. The utility is pressing for the ICC to reverse itself on two primary issues, which account for about two-thirds of the $100 million. With those concessions, it could proceed. Otherwise, it says it will have to wait several years to get started.


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Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.