January 11, 2010
GE to Set Up Smart Grid Demonstration Center in China
Smart Grid technologies have picked up momentum in the U.S. Companies focusing on smart grid technologies now plan to expand their service to other countries where energy efficiency is crucial in development.
China, the largest green house gas emitter in the world, is the immediate target of GE, a leading supplier of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The company now plans to spread the benefits of smart grid technology to China. As the first step, GE is building an extensive smart grid demonstration center in the Yangzhou New Economy and Development Zone, located on the Yangtze River in China’s Jiangsu province.
The demonstration center will verify how GE technologies deployed throughout the world can help China improve the reliability, efficiency and carbon footprint of its energy delivery, company officials said.
The technology engagement at China will include a huge array of GE products that affect energy in homes, on power lines and in a utility’s network control center. The demonstration covers home energy technologies including advanced metering infrastructure smart meters, home energy management systems, programmable thermostats, and smart appliances, as well as cost and demand-response systems that reduce home energy usage during times of peak energy demand.
Grid infrastructure and control technologies in the demonstration include automated outage identification and restoration software, field-force automation and deployment systems and grid-wide network management software, GE officials added.
The initiative may also include installation and demonstration of home-based charging stations for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, company officials said. PHEVs can enable electric cars to become more commonplace – reducing China’s need for oil while greatly lowering the carbon footprint of each mile driven, the company claims.
“Yangzhou’s initiative will be a showcase to demonstrate how China can get the power it needs and reduce energy’s environmental impact at the same time,” said Mark Norbom, president and CEO of GE’s China business, in a statement.
“China has experienced unbelievable growth over the past decade, creating a massive need for energy to power businesses and consumer lifestyles—so the time is right for Yangzhou to become a smart city,” said Norbom added.
Zhengyi Xie, the city mayor of Yangzhou expressed hope that GE’s advanced smart grid technology will enhance the local infrastructure and the whole relevant industry as well. GE, through industry collaborations, plans to deliver broad portfolio offerings of carbon-smart technologies in the industry to modernize electrical systems from the power plant to the consumer, company officials said.
In October, TMCnet reported that AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power focused on helping its customers to reduce energy usage, will purchase 110,000 GE smart meters as part of AEP’s recently announced gridSMARTSM demonstration project in northeast central Ohio.
Learn more about Smart Grid technology at the Smart Grid Summit, an event collocated with ITEXPO East 2010, to be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami. This is the event you need to attend if you want to understand the role that IP communications technologies will play in how the Smart Grid evolves – not just for making utilities more efficient, but also for enabling the Smart Home and a new generation of communications innovations. Register now.
Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani’s articles, please visit her columnist page.Edited by Erin Harrison