GE (NYSE: GE) made a major step forward with its worldwide commitment to improve the ways we make, move and consume electricity with the acquisition of SNC-Lavalin's Energy Control Systems (ECS) business and its network management and control software. ECS software is already improving the reliability, efficiency and carbon profile for 300 million people on six continents.
"ECS software empowers everyone along the energy value chain to do a better job with how they handle electricity," said Bob Gilligan, vice president—digital energy for GE Energy Services. "By adding the flow of information to the flow of power, we can help utilities be more reliable and efficient. We can help consumers understand and manage their electricity usage. And we can help regulators and governments devise strategies to improve how to cost-effectively ensure reliable energy for everyone who needs it. That's the power of the new grid GE is building today."
Using real-time information, ECS software improves efficiency of power delivery. The software's continuous monitoring and analysis also helps identify potential power problems before they happen—improving reliability. In those unavoidable outage situations—such as storm damage or traffic accidents—ECS can reroute power around unplanned outages, minimizing the number of customers affected. It also can automatically determine the cause of an outage and dispatch properly equipped crews to fix the problem faster.
ECS solutions also simplify the integration of clean, renewable domestic energy. With innovations like weather forecasting integration, for example, the system can optimize the renewable generation mix as it anticipates available power by knowing when the wind will blow and if the sun will shine.
Built to meet the myriad of standards worldwide, ECS solutions can integrate disparate systems from multiple manufacturers, making each individual solution more effective. As a result, they help utilities maximize the usable life and value of aging grid infrastructure, while upgrading their capabilities to state-of-the-art smart grid performance.
"The sale of our ECS technology to GE demonstrates the hard work and dedication of the SNC-Lavalin employees who developed this world class product," said Patrick Lamarre, executive vice president, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. "We have an excellent working relationship with GE and this sale is positive for all concerned. GE's infrastructure will offer ECS employees new opportunities for growth, while SNC-Lavalin's Global Power Group will continue to focus on its core business providing engineering, procurement, construction and project management services for all power product lines, including Green Energy initiatives."
ECS will remain in Montreal, Canada and retain its staff to continue creating and refining solutions for a smarter electric infrastructure.