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GE Propels Grid Resiliency by Addressing Congestion, Asset-Optimization Challenges PDF

  • GE Solves Global Customers’ Toughest Challenges with Innovations That Help Them Better Prepare for Grid Stress and Extreme Weather Events
  • End-to-End Technology Delivers Reliable, Powerful Performance for 21st-Century Needs
  • GE’s Latest Solutions Will Be on Display at the 2015 DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition, Taking Place Feb. 3-5 in San Diego

SAN DIEGO – January 29, 2015 – With global electricity consumption expected to rise by more than 70 percent by 2035, utilities face the task of satiating consumers’ increased energy demands. Their ability to meet these demands, however, can be impeded by obstacles that accompany an aging infrastructure such as grid congestion and the optimization of existing grid assets. The intensification of extreme weather events – which nearly tripled worldwide between 1980 and 2014 – adds to these challenges with utilities often limited in their ability to anticipate, communicate and therefore prepare for unplanned outages.

At this year’s DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition, taking place Feb. 3-5 in San Diego, GE’s Digital Energy business (NYSE: GE) will address these key challenges, helping utilities keep the lights on as demand, stress and major events continue to proliferate.

“The world and its appetite for electricity are moving at lightning speed,” said John McDonald, director, technical strategy and policy development, GE’s Digital Energy business. “It’s critical for utilities to keep up with this rate of change in order to meet both current challenges and what lies ahead. At GE, we’re committed to equipping utilities with the end-to-end technology and knowledge they need to adapt and proactively combat obstacles.”

Relieving Grid Congestion

Global grid systems are becoming congested and cannot support current demand generated by the integration of low-carbon technologies. The change in generation profile from centralized power stations to smaller distributed systems is a culprit of this congestion with upgrades required to manage the new power flows.

Understanding these challenges, GE technology is making it possible for electrical network operators to upgrade their infrastructure in order to deliver reliable power and effectively manage grid congestion challenges. This technology includes GE’s smart meters – which provide utilities with information on customer energy consumption patterns – and software innovations, including advanced distribution management systems to increase productivity and efficiency.

Optimizing Existing Assets

Around the world, utilities are experiencing challenges optimizing their existing grid infrastructure while adding more renewable resources. Diverse generation and load centers also are increasing the already high demands placed on an aging infrastructure.

To help utilities capitalize on their existing assets and enable more renewable generation, GE has created solutions that provide custom analysis and tailored technology. Its next-generation SmallworldTM and Orbit solutions, which will both be on display at DistribuTECH, allow customers to extend existing capabilities, supporting productivity improvements in electric, gas, water and beyond.

Building a More Resilient Grid

Superstorm Sandy. Hurricane Katrina. The polar vortex. The dust continues to settle from recent storms that caused problems across entire distribution networks. Preparing for these events requires basic infrastructure hardening as well as improved outage response and planning processes – including better damage assessment practices that more effectively employ utility resources.

GE has the software capabilities and smart grid solutions to improve the resiliency of the grid. This includes a broad portfolio of interoperable outage restoration solutions – from intelligent controls, sensors and automation to visualization, field-force automation and communications infrastructure – that work in tandem to help identify changes in the grid and prepare for unplanned outages, ensuring power is restored as quickly as possible. At DistribuTECH, GE also will be introducing technology that allows utility personnel to assess damage in the field right from their mobile devices.

“With a modern, connected grid, utilities will be able to do more with less, optimize renewable energy sources and empower their consumers with energy usage information – ultimately helping to fulfill the needs of the 21st century,” added McDonald.

To learn more about how GE is solving customers’ toughest problems, stop by booth #2113 at DistribuTECH or visit