Advancing today’s electrical grid for tomorrow’s needs
For decades, the electrical grid has served its purpose, delivering power when and where it is needed. But to meet today’s needs, we must get the most out of the networks we already have — developing a smarter grid that increases efficiencies and does more with less.
Across GE, we are working on a variety of Smart Grid technologies to deliver real-time information within the grid. This information will help increase renewable energy generation and grid support for plug-in electric vehicles, improve operational productivity and lower associated emissions — all while helping consumers to manage their energy use and save money without compromising their lifestyle.
GE has one of the broadest portfolios of Smart Grid solutions available today, ranging from energy distribution and appliances to financing and help utilities. As GE embarks on adding Smart Grid-enabling technologies to its ecomagination portfolio, we also continue to work with customers around the world to deploy solutions that bring governments, utilities and consumers toward a more energy-efficient tomorrow.
Mexico’s largest electric utility, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), has deployed high-efficiency transformer technology from Prolec-GE that is designed to reduce the loss of electricity from distribution transformers, helping to meet electricity demand more efficiently. CFE’s investment has delivered more than five GWh of energy savings from 2006 to 2008, equivalent to the annual energy used by more than 3,000 average Mexican households.
GE worked with Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) on its project, Positive Energy® SmartPower. Positive Energy® SmartPower uses a secure wireless network for two-way, real-time communication with more than 6,000 GE “smart” meters, programmable thermostats and touch-screen information panels inside the homes.
Through its SmartMeter™ program, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California announced plans to deploy as many as 3.3 million GE smart meters to utility customers in Northern and Central California. These meters can help customers manage their energy use and electricity costs, while helping the utility manage peak loads.
Some of our best scientific minds are dedicated to future advances at our state-of-the-art Smart Grid Lab in Niskayuna, New York. Along with developing smarter appliances, researchers are investigating the electrical stability challenges that a high penetration of wind and solar power generation could bring. They are also exploring better two-way communication within the grid, allowing a utility to manage power more reliably and efficiently while giving consumers better tools for reducing energy costs.