Exelon is rooted in innovation. Since our founding, we have transformed an underperforming nuclear fleet into one of the most efficient and productive in the nation. We are turning 100-year-old electric grids into modern digital, smart networks that provide a platform for enhanced reliability, security and customer empowerment.
We’ve made tremendous progress, and we are not stopping there. Exelon understands that the focus must always be on what’s around the corner. Emerging technologies and new business models present both challenges and opportunities.
In 2016, Exelon formed the Corporate Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability (CSIS) group to identify, evaluate and execute innovative projects that bring value to our customers and shareholders. CSIS focuses on the following areas:
Fostering an internal culture of innovation — Exelon’s workforce has extensive expertise across many domains, and this expertise must be harnessed and leveraged to optimize the “power of the crowd” in solving complex problems. Using new processes, technologies and events like our annual Innovation Expos, Exelon is empowering employees to think creatively, propose ideas and be a part of an ever-changing organization.
Embracing new technologies — Big data, wearable tech, drones, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and countless other technology solutions are already delivering substantial value to Exelon. The CSIS group is working with cross-functional teams to identify the biggest business challenges and then examine how various emerging technologies can be scaled across the widest possible audience to deliver maximum overall value.
Seeding new growth with ideation — The CSIS team has created the “Exelorate” process, a new approach to incubate entrepreneurial ideas for revenue growth. Exelorate is a three-stage process where ideas can be discovered, validated and implemented. The overarching goal is to test business plans with low levels of investment through deployment to a small set of customers. Then, if successful, a refined business plan can then be taken to scale by incorporating it into an existing business line, creating a new business line or spinning it out as a separate business.
Innovation also requires collaboration outside the enterprise. Exelon partners with technology companies, top universities, national laboratories, government agencies and venture capitalists to take advantage of new technologies that have the potential to transform the way we produce and manage energy. Recent partnerships include a collaboration with Northwestern University’s Institute for Sustainability and Energy that brings together Exelon’s industry and market expertise with Northwestern’s deep research capabilities, streamlining the process for evaluating, testing and scaling scientific discoveries made in Northwestern labs for commercial use.
The Northwestern partnership follows other formal partnerships with leading institutions, such as our cooperative R&D agreement with Argonne National Lab and a membership in MIT’s Low Carbon Energy Centers.
Exelon also announced a partnership with GE in November 2016 to drive substantial improvements in reliability, efficiency and profitability within Exelon’s generation fleet. The partnership will deploy GE’s Predix software applications across Exelon’s fleet of nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, solar, wind and natural gas facilities. The technology will help us operate assets more efficiently and predict maintenance needs before they arise.
Working together, GE and Exelon also will co-develop, test and build next-generation software as a service (SaaS) applications built on the GE Predix platform for future market opportunities.