- Associated Press - Sunday, October 15, 2017

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Commerce Commission has launched an 18-month study to explore the use of emerging technologies to improve the state’s electric grid.

The “NextGrid: Illinois’ Utility of the Future” study is the collaborative effort of the ICC, Ameren Illinois, ComEd, and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois, the Herald-Whig reported.

It’s a “consumer-focused collaborative study to transform Illinois’ energy landscape and economy,” said ICC Chairman Brien J. Sheahan. The study was prompted by innovations in technology and energy efficiency, and the push for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

“By bringing together stakeholders and experts in technology, energy, business and government- as well as consumer advocates - we will produce a clear blueprint to guide us into the future,” ICC Executive Director Cholly Smith said.

The study is founded on a clean-energy push in the state that has included legislation, aiming to transform the energy industry.

The study comes after a recent report by M.J. Bradley and Associates, which says the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in the state could spark up to $43 billion in benefits by 2050. Those benefits include reduced utility bills, savings on fuel and vehicle expenses and carbon pollution reduction.

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Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig, https://www.whig.com

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