This chart demonstrates the long journey of smart grid legislation in Illinois … or at least rounds one and two. Having passed in the House on May 30, 2011, amendments to the Illinois Power Agency Act cleared the Senate on May 31, 2011, paving the way for a showdown between Governor Quinn, Ameren and Com-Ed. Gov. Quinn has promised to veto the bill. However, there is some speculation the Governor will negotiate with the two utilities over the summer rather than completely squash all hopes of a smarter electrical grid in Illinois. 

If the bill is not vetoed, a Smart Grid Advisory Council, the Illinois Science and Innovation Trust, as well as Smart Grid Test Beds will be created. Smart Grid Test Bed? It appears to be an interesting way of saying pilot:

Sec. 16-108.8. Illinois Smart Grid test bed

(a) Within 180 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly, each participating utility, as defined by Section 16-108.5 of this Act, shall create or otherwise designate a Smart Grid test bed, which may be located at one or more places within the utility’s system, for the purposes of allowing for the testing of Smart Grid technologies. The objectives of this test bed shall be to:

  1. provide an open, unbiased opportunity for testing programs, technologies, business models, and other Smart Grid-related activities;
  2. provide on-grid locations for the testing of potentially innovative Smart Grid-related technologies and services, including but not limited to those funded by the trust or foundation established pursuant to Section 16-108.7 of this Act;
  3. facilitate testing of business models or services that help integrate Smart Grid-related technologies into the electric grid, especially those business models that may help promote new products and services for retail customers;
  4. offer opportunities to test and showcase Smart Grid technologies and services, especially those likely to support the economic development goals of the State of Illinois.

Com-Ed issued a press release yesterday, hailing the General Assembly’s passage of SB 1652, also known as the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Bill. 

At the time of posting, a motion to reconsider the vote was filed by Sen. John Cullerton.