The leading worldwide resource for clean, reliable, efficient energy delivery will be headquartered in Atlanta with the opening of GE’s Digital Energy business’ new Smart Grid Technology Center of Excellence (COE), the company announced on April 22. The center is another demonstration of GE’s commitment to discovering and deploying clean, sustainable and economically viable energy solutions to satisfy ever-increasing worldwide energy demand.
“Atlanta is an ideal location for us to continue to grow our smart grid business,” said Bob Gilligan, vice president of digital energy for GE Energy Services. “This new center of excellence will strengthen our green workforce and help GE continue to create solutions to better address our 21st-century energy needs.”
The center is expected to add about 400 new jobs over three years. It will combine the world headquarters for GE’s Digital Energy business, a world-class smart grid engineering laboratory and a world-destination smart grid customer solutions showcase.
To help develop and deliver the leading-edge technologies and solutions planned for the COE, GE will need a highly trained “green” workforce. Funding from the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is being used to train and build a solid, energy-savvy human resource that will benefit the Atlanta area for years to come.
In addition to federal government cooperation, the Georgia Economic Development Office and the Georgia governor’s office worked with GE to help secure the green jobs for Atlanta.
“GE Energy’s decision to expand its presence in Georgia through the opening of the Smart Grid Technology Center of Excellence supports our state’s strategic growth as a global leader in the energy sector,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “The solutions that will be developed at the Smart Grid Technology Center of Excellence not only benefit GE’s customers, but also will serve as a model for smart and responsible energy production throughout this industry.”
The smart grid lab features collaboration between GE and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), one of the nation’s top research universities. The partnership will work to develop and test new smart grid technologies that can help improve the efficiency, reliability and environmental impact of energy transmission, distribution and consumption—from integrating more renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, to lowering the peak power demand that lowers the need for new power plants, to improving the ways consumers manage their power usage.
“Research on smart grid technologies and their related systems is important at Georgia Tech, so there are limitless opportunities to collaborate with GE,” said Greg King, Strategic Partners Office at Georgia Tech. “We look forward to working with GE in this latest area of technology and innovation.”
The smart grid customer solutions showcase will feature hands-on interactive displays that can help visitors from throughout the world understand the challenges and opportunities inherent in delivering electricity over the power grid. Visitors will see how changes in the ways power is generated, delivered and consumed can improve the ways they live – from plug-in car charging and home energy management to renewable generation and automated grid communications networks. The showcase also will feature in-depth demonstrations to help educate grid engineers about the proven energy-saving solutions available.
“Georgia and metro Atlanta’s relationship and experience with GE is solid. The chamber is proud to have partnered with the state to help GE with this new headquarters project,” said Hans Gant, senior vice president of economic development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “GE has steadily grown its presence in Atlanta for a number of years and has had success in managing their worldwide energy and infrastructure organizations from Atlanta. The high-paying jobs this new facility will create are the kinds of jobs where the Chamber’s New Economy Task Force recommended we focus our efforts. Atlanta has everything GE needs to continue to succeed: talent, quality of life and access to market.”
GE will move into the new headquarters in July, and the customer showcase is scheduled to open in September.