Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

ComEd turns to Xage for DER blockchain

Steve Rogerson
October 1, 2019
Chicago-based energy company ComEd is working with Xage Security 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.
“ComEd is investigating how blockchain technology can provide operational and security benefits while enabling the customers and communities we serve to realise their sustainability and resilience goals,” said Terry Donnelly, president and COO of ComEd.
Blockchains use multiple servers that operate like decentralised record-keeping and verification systems. They’re seen as promising for energy companies bringing more DER onto their systems and creating marketplaces offering an array of IoT devices and innovative energy services.
"Grid modernisation needs to be implemented with sophisticated and comprehensive security from the start," said Duncan Greatwood, CEO of California-based Xage Security. "Cyber attacks are becoming more advanced and focused, bypassing network-level protection to target specific industrial control systems. Smart grid cyber security must protect every digital interaction.”
ComEd will conduct the blockchain demonstration project at its Grid of the Future Lab. The company is using this 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.
“The growth of DER provides many potential values to the distribution grid,” said Amin Khodaei, chairman of the Electrical & 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 decarbonised, digitalised and decentralised grid while making it more resilient from a cyber-security perspective.”