ComEd turns on new Elk Grove substation to power data center growth

  • ComEd's newest substation in Elk Grove Village is its most compact yet, with all equipment and switching gear contained in one building.

    ComEd's newest substation in Elk Grove Village is its most compact yet, with all equipment and switching gear contained in one building. Courtesy of ComEd

  • ComEd has completed construction of a new substation in Elk Grove Village that will help power three Microsoft data centers planned at the Elk Grove Technology Park, as well as other proposed data centers in town.

    ComEd has completed construction of a new substation in Elk Grove Village that will help power three Microsoft data centers planned at the Elk Grove Technology Park, as well as other proposed data centers in town. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, May 2021

 
 
Updated 11/11/2021 6:45 PM

ComEd has finished construction of its latest substation in Elk Grove Village to help power what's become the Midwest's data center hub.

The five-acre site at 1500 Midway Court, in the shadow of the Jane Addams Tollway, will handle transmission systems and expand the utility's distribution network across the Northwest suburbs.

 

The substation is at the foot of a proposed $1 billion, 150-megawatt data center campus. San Francisco-based Prime Data Centers, Corp. has proposed housing its servers, wires and related equipment within three, 3-story buildings across two dozen acres on the northwest corner of Higgins and Busse roads.

And it's down the block from the $1 billion Elk Grove Technology Park, where Microsoft is building three data center buildings totaling 400,000 square feet -- a construction site visited by President Joe Biden last month. The 85-acre tech park already is home to a 164,000-square-foot data center operated by T5 Data Centers.

ComEd broke ground on the substation in the fall of 2019 in anticipation of new and expanding data centers in and around the new tech park and greater O'Hare market. All equipment and switching gear are contained within one building, making it the most compact substation the utility company has built.

"I give ComEd credit because they've been able to deliver what (data centers) need the most of, which is power," Mayor Craig Johnson said.

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Johnson said ComEd is planning two other substations in the area: one next to Microsoft at the tech park on the site of the former Elk Grove fire station, and another within the proposed Prime Data Centers campus.

The new substation is next to the planned Prime campus, which is the latest proposed data center in Elk Grove. The village is behind the effort to lure the data center to town, through a complex assemblage of parcels that has the village acquiring the properties and selling them to the tech company.

A plan commission hearing on the proposed phase one of the project is scheduled for Nov. 29. When complete, the facility would become the 12th data center in Elk Grove.

The new substation follows the expansion of ComEd's Itasca substation in 2017. The area is served by two other substations in Elk Grove and one in Mount Prospect.

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