General Electric has taken the wraps off a series of smart grid developments ranging from projects in Maui, Canada and New Zealand to showcase the benefits to utilities and industries, to appliances and technology for "net zero energy" homes.
The news from GE on Tuesday was the latest of a growing number of major smart grid ventures involving products, projects and partnerships. On Monday, IBM and Cisco announced they will work with Amsterdam in its pilot project to establish the first "Smart City" in the European Union. Last Wednesday, GE unveiled its plans with the U.S. Department of Defense to make the world's largest Marine Corps base into a model of smart microgrid systems technology.
The company introduced its new products and projects at a day-long media briefing, the first component of a three-day smart grid symposium presented by the firm at its Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y. (Full disclosure: GreenBiz.com was GE's guest at the media presentation and the company paid my expenses to attend.) Discussions with customers and business partners are being conducted today and the chief technology officers of GE's various lines of businesses meet on Thursday. The meetings precede the release of GE's report on its second quarter earnings, which is scheduled for Friday.
In the media sessions, GE executives took the opportunity to recap its ecomagination strategy and lay out the company's vision of the smart grid and the technology that will connect buildings, homes, cars with energy sources to enable greater energy efficiency.