GE has launched an expanded suite of Predix-based software applications that harnesses the power of the Industrial IoT to drive new profit opportunities for power producers and utilities. The new ‘Digital Utility’ solutions connect energy traders with valuable, real-time plant productivity and capacity data to enable more profitable analytics-informed trading.
Additional new offerings unveiled include a Baseline Security Center to increase operational security for power producers, and services designed to help utilities plan for a digital transformation.
GE’s ‘Digital Utility’ solutions are designed to help electricity businesses navigate rapidly changing markets. Low demand growth, falling wholesale power prices, excess capacity from the growth of renewable energy sources, and long-term investments to thermal generation are greatly impacting power and utility businesses’ profitability.
Last year, 86% of new energy capacity added in the European Union came from renewable sources. The preference for, and intermittency of, those resources is dramatically changing the role of traditional fuels, and led European utilities to spend €1bn on grid balancing services. The trend is likely to repeat itself globally with 138.5 GW of renewable power capacity added worldwide in 2016.
For energy businesses across the Electricity Value Network (EVN), remaining profitable means responding quickly to short-term trading opportunities, maximizing capacity for peak demand periods, and strategically planning to address long-term supply and demand trends. That requires traditional fuel types to respond quickly and flexibly to demand and supply fluctuations.
GE’s Digital Utility software suite serves these needs, connecting data from electricity generation, distribution and transmission assets to enable more informed financial decision making. The software leverages a catalogue of more than 100,000 GE Digital Twins to deliver insights about efficiency, capacity, emissions, flexibility and availability that traders can use to bid with confidence in long-term, day-ahead and short-term markets.
The new updates and capabilities include:
● Business Optimization for more profitable trading – GE’s new Business Optimization application enables real-time communication between trading and plant operations to inform the entire bid to bill process. Replacing disparate spreadsheets and trading informed only by base-level capacity, the Business Optimization application alerts a generation business of profitable trading opportunities – often highly profitable short-term opportunities– and informs what the utility can bid into market.
The BO app allows utilities to engage in new profit pools, such as the market for ancillary services to help manage grid stability, and new market opportunities, such as cross-border trading. Deployed as a full stack, the Asset Performance Management, Operations Optimization and Business Optimization applications connect machine and operations data with a utility’s bottom line.
● Updates to GE’s Operations Optimization application – GE’s Operations Optimization offers real-time visibility into plant and fleet-wide performance. Enabled by edge-to-cloud technology that allows for fast analytics, Operations Optimization helps power and utilities improve flexibility, efficiency, capacity, availability, and emissions. New capabilities include the ability to measure delivery against performance targets, recommendations on how to better meet targets, and closed feedback technology that will help utilities make changes and improve performance.
● GE delivers Asset Performance Management (APM) across the Electricity Value Network (EVN)– Today, GE is introducing a single dashboard view of asset health across the entire EVN, including renewables, traditional power and grid. Drawing on GE’s Digital Twin technology and an analytics catalogue based on more than 125 million hours of machine operating data, APM offers the highest failure mode coverage and lowest false positives in the industry, covering 70% of all NERC failure modes for combined-cycle plants.
● GE announces Digital Worker Capabilities – As part of the APM dashboard, work orders will connect with field service technicians to dispatch and provide information for operations and maintenance. Workers can submit completed O&M information back into the system, closing a full loop from problem identification to resolution. This field service data makes the APM application more intelligent with each work order and enables better analytics with each alert.
● New GE Baseline Security Center (BSC) for Power & Utilities – More than 60% of power leaders believe their security strategy is not aligned with today’s risk environment. Many utilities struggle simply to maintain current versions of software or to run the latest security “patches” from vendors.
With its new Baseline Security Center, GE will offer a set of tools, configurations, and services focused on reducing cyber security risk across the Electricity Value Network (EVN). Based on recommendations of the Center for Internet Security, the Baseline Security Center offers services including patch management, anti-malware, identity management, network, and host hardening, and intrusion detection.
● New Digital Services for Power and Utilities – GE has introduced three new types of services to help power producers and utilities develop digital strategies. Digital Transformation Services include Digital Visioning workshops, a Digital Effectiveness Assessment, Business Value Engineering and Digital Transformation Mapping. New Digital Plant Services provides digital subject matter experts to help customers implement recommendations drawn from the Digital Transformation process. New Tiered Support Services will provide customers different levels of support tied to their ongoing use of GE’s Business Optimization, Operations Optimization and Asset Performance Management software applications.
Filed Under: News, Software