T&D World Magazine

GE Acquires Power Line Monitoring Company FMC-Tech

GE intends to acquire Ireland-based FMC-Tech, a provider of real-time power line monitoring to accelerate the commercialization of power grid technology. FMC-Tech is one of the dozen investments resulting from GE’s 2010 ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid.

On July 13, 2010, CEO Jeff Immelt announced GE’s Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid, a $200 million open innovation challenge to find and fund the best ideas for bringing the power grid into the 21st century. Co-funded by four venture capital firms, the challenge aims to leverage GE’s scale, technical expertise and client relationships to bring new ideas to market quickly.

“With the acquisition of FMC Tech’s portfolio, GE will be able to provide a new level of grid intelligence to utilities, improving decision-making and streamlining operations with real-time information on power outages and available capacity on power lines,” said Bob Gilligan, CEO—digital energy for GE Energy Services. “Utility operators can better balance the load by managing capacity and optimizing the amount of power sent through a line. Maintenance and repair crews can be more effectively dispatched for increased productivity, improved reliability and greater customer satisfaction.”

FMC-Tech solutions are a key component of a utility’s distribution automation system that provide information on locating faults, providing dynamic line ratings and help manage maintenance and repair crews. The system is designed to easily integrate with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), energy management systems (EMS) and demand management systems (DMS)/outage management systems (OMS).

FMC-Tech will become part of GE Energy Services’ Digital Energy Smart Substation business, led by Juan Macias. All employees will remain in Shannon, Ireland.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in July.

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