ABB in $100-Million Project to Upgrade Chicago Power Grid

U.S. utility Commonwealth Edison using ABB technology to achieve maximum competitive performance in newly deregulated market

Zurich, Switzerland, November 17, 1999 – ABB, the global technology company, said today it has won orders valued at about $100 million to upgrade Chicago’s transmission and distribution system. The customer is Chicago-based Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S.

The order calls for ABB to build one large new substation and to carry out major expansions at four others near downtown Chicago as part of ComEd’s efforts to ensure reliable power delivery before next summer’s peak load. ABB has also helped guide ComEd’s improvements to 20 other substations and the city’s medium-voltage network. The total project is aimed at ensuring ComEd can deliver competitive service in the State of Illinois’ retail power market, which was deregulated at the beginning of October this year.

“This project reflects some of the enormous opportunities for ABB as deregulation and infrastructure renewal continue in the U.S.,” said Göran Lindahl, ABB’s President and CEO. “Our company has a proven track record of providing our customers in deregulated markets with the most competitive solutions. We’re proud to work with ComEd as they break new ground in one of the world’s most dynamic markets.”

As part of the ComEd project, ABB systems engineers are using advanced grid modeling and simulation techniques, specifically designed for power distribution systems, to design a network capable of re-routing power around any disturbances that might occur in the grid and to ensure uninterrupted service to the company’s 3.5 million customers.
Deregulation in power transmission and distribution markets allows consumers – from industries to homeowners - to choose, for example, from whom they wish to buy electricity. ABB supplies technologies that allow deregulated systems to operate efficiently, such as advanced power distribution systems, intelligent metering systems, compact and high-efficiency substations, and energy trading systems.

ABB <http://www.abb.com> is a globalized technology and engineering company serving customers in power transmission and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; industrial products and contracting; and in financial services. Power generation customers are served by the joint venture ABB ALSTOM POWER. The ABB Group employs about 170,000 people in more than 100 countries. (End)

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    • John Fox
      ABB Corporate Communications, Zurich
      Tel: +41 1 317 7371
      Fax: +41 1 317 7958
    • William Kelly
      ABB Inc., Norwalk CT
      Tel: +1 203 750 2246
      Fax: +1 203 750 7788
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