ComEd, one of the nation’s largest energy delivery companies, announced today it will partner with Xage Security, Inc. to demonstrate how blockchain technology can enhance the security and operational efficiency of electric systems as they integrate distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar, storage, energy efficiency and demand management.
Blockchains use multiple servers that operate like decentralized record-keeping and verification systems. They’re seen as a promising solution for energy companies bringing more DER onto their systems and creating marketplaces offering an array of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and innovative energy services.
“ComEd is investigating how blockchain technology can provide operational and security benefits while enabling the customers and communities we serve to realize their sustainability and resilience goals,” said Terry Donnelly, president and COO, ComEd.
“The growth of DER provides many potential values to the distribution grid,” said Dr. Amin Khodaei, chairman of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Denver, and a ComEd partner on this demonstration project. “Advanced control and communications frameworks enabled through blockchain can help to further build the foundation for the decarbonized, digitalized and decentralized grid while making it more resilient from a cybersecurity perspective.”
“Grid modernization needs to be implemented with sophisticated and comprehensive security solutions from the start,” said Duncan Greatwood, CEO of Xage Security, Inc. “Cyberattacks are becoming more advanced and focused, bypassing network-level protection to target specific industrial control systems. Smart grid cybersecurity must protect every digital interaction.”
ComEd will conduct the blockchain demonstration project at its Grid of the Future Lab. The company is using this state-of-the-art laboratory to refine and demonstrate the capabilities of emerging technologies and pilot projects, such as the microgrid ComEd is building in the Bronzeville community on Chicago’s South Side and other innovations focused on enhancing grid resilience and sustainability.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.