Each year, GTM Research publishes The Networked Grid 150 report. This report is a compendium of GTM's smart grid analysis and includes strategic outlooks on smart grid technology maturity, investment activity, utility adoption and grid concerns, as well as analysis on emerging smart grid markets. The report provides over 150 vendor profiles of the leading smart grid players across twelve key smart grid market segments.

Below is GE Energy's profile from this year's edition of The Networked Grid 150 report. GE Energy is active across a number of smart grid sub-markets and was named one of the Top 10 Vendors to Watch in this year's report.

You can learn more about this report and purchase a copy at www.greentechmedia.com/research/report/the-networked-grid-150-report-and-rankings-2013.

Public: GE (NYSE)

Fairfield, CT (company-wide); Atlanta, GA (GE Energy)


Year Founded: 1982

Entrance into smart grid market: 2005 (with the launch of Ecomagination)

Number of employees: 27,000 (GE Energy Management); 300,000+ (company-wide)

Notable contracts:

  • Phasor measurement system at Southern California Edison
  • PowerOn DMS at Eandis in Belgium
  • OMS/Smallworld GIS at Tata Power Delhi Distribution
  • GENe DMS at Puget Sound Energy
  • Enmac DMS used at 13 of 14 distribution network operators in Great Britain
  • 3.3 million smart meters for PG&E
  • Distribution automation equipment for Hydro One in conjunction with Telvent (Schneider Electric) ADMS project

General Electric (GE) is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. GE has its hand in all aspects of the traditional energy market (including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy). In smart grid, GE plays in enterprise applications, transmission and distribution equipment, meter manufacturing, and grid support. GE recently reorganized its Energy group into three parts: Power and Water, Oil and Gas, and Energy Management. GE’s smart grid offerings are being grouped into its Energy Management division, which had revenues of $7.4 billion in 2012. In January 2012, GE has made an aggressive push into the smart-grid-as-a-service model through the company’s Grid IQ suite, which is currently offered as both a managed and a hosted solution. In addition, it offers internal hosting for utilities with more resources.

GE has been selected to provide meter hardware for several of the largest AMI contracts in North America, including a 3.3-million-meter share of a 5.3-million-meter deployment with Pacific Gas & Electric (Landis+Gyr was selected for the remainder). The company also has a deal in place with AEP Ohio for 110,000 meters, in addition to other rollouts at Florida Power & Light and Oklahoma Gas & Electric. It will likely supply a majority of the 4 million meters slated to be deployed at Commonwealth Edison beginning in 2015. GE has partnerships with other AMI communications vendors, such as Trilliant Networks (for smart meters to run over cellular carriers) and Itron (communicating its energy data to Itron’s reading systems). In addition, in Q1 2013, GE announced its own point-to-multipoint AMI solution which utilizes On-Ramp Wireless’ Ultra-Link processing technology operating in the 2.4 GHz band at sensitivity of up to -142 dBm.

Aside from meters, the company also competes in transmission and distribution equipment and software and grid optimization. GE Energy’s software goals are to enhance power reliability, manage renewables, and pinpoint outages or concerns along the smart grid. It boasts various enterprise applications (PowerOn and ENMAC lines), monitoring (Kelman and Hydran), and substation automation (PowerLink and D-Series) brands for transmission and distribution automation. The company also manufactures smart-grid-enabled appliances for the home, and is looking at ZigBee communication (rather than Wi-Fi) to be the most efficient gateway for the home area network (HAN). As for meter communication itself, GE has shown interest in the high-bandwidth technology WiMAX (the means the company uses for its backhaul data transmission), as well as the dominant radio frequency (RF) mesh solution.

GE is committed to enhancing its software offerings. The company recently released the first wave of Grid IQ analytics applications. GE is also investing $1 billion on a Global Software Center in the Bay Area that will house 400 software professionals, of which a significant number will be committed to enhancing the company’s energy practice.

GE partnered with Google in early 2013 to integrate data from the Google Maps platform into GE’s Smallworld GIS to enhance visualization and analytics on the platform. In conjunction with the government of Canada, GE opened its $40 million Grid IQ Innovation Center in Markham, Ontario in October 2012. Its goal is to help customers create reliable and sustainable energy solutions. GE formed a joint venture and invested more than a half-billion dollars with XD Electric, a major Chinese infrastructure provider in May 2012. Acquisitions of FMC Tech in May 2011, British Remote Energy Monitoring in January 2011 and SNC-Lavalin’s Energy Control Systems expanded GE’s portfolio in medium-voltage sensors, metering, and network control systems, respectively. The company also is collaborating with Sensus on a C&I smart meter.

Primary competitors: ABB, Alstom, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Oracle, Siemens

Note: Click image above to see larger version
Source: The Networked Grid 150

Analyst Note: The conventional wisdom pertaining to GE has been, and continues to be, that the company does not have a complete integrated solution in place. That is not exactly an insult; indeed, executives within GE have admitted as much, and new talent has been brought in aggressively to solve some of these enterprise-wide integration issues. Strong existing utility customers and a fast developing suite of analytic tools continue to make the future bright for this grid giant.

In terms of strategy, realizing that it’s still the early days of smart grid, one of GE’s approaches has been to leave no technological stone unturned, working/partnering with a multitude of vendors. Recent reorganization of the smart grid offering within a single unit under GE Energy Management will likely focus product development and create a stronger emphasis on smart grid solutions. Energy Management revenue grew by 15% in 2012, and virtually all of this increase came from acquisitions.

To learn more about GE and the other vendors profiled in The Networked Grid 150 report, please visit: http://www.greentechmedia.com/research/report/the-networked-grid-150-report-and-rankings-2013.