Home > Uncategorized > General Electric Invests in Smart Grid Startups including Irish Company

General Electric Invests in Smart Grid Startups including Irish Company

GE announced two big steps in its Ecomagination Challenge program in the last 24 hours. The company unveiled 12 investments, totaling $55 million. This is the first round of its goal to put $200 million to work in power grid technology startups over the next 18 months as part of its Ecomagination competition.

These companies will get product development with from GE’s engineering and sales support as well as mentoring from venture capital partners such as Kleiner Perkins. A lot of the investment is in smart grid technology, which shows how GE feels the sector is going – after all alternative energy will be many solutions and not one, and the current grid is based on a network of established energy plays not hundreds or thousands of different sustainable energy projects.

Second, GE announced five $100,000 “Innovation Awards” for still developing technologies identified from its novel effort to crowd source innovative energy technology opportunities from the Web.

Companies invested in include FMC-Tech which makes power line monitoring systems for “medium voltage” grids to help deploy related smart grid technologies, an international company which is based in Shannon. It was a winner at the Energy Innovation Awards earlier this year. FMC-Tech Ltd, was set up in August 2001, for the purpose of developing a new network management system, the Crystal SystemTM, for medium voltage overhead electricity networks. The development brief was to provide a complete solution to improve customer satisfaction and meet regulatory demands both present and future, by delivering network intelligence, while at the same time reducing costs. Testing and evaluation of the system has been carried out at various stages in the project, and following the successful completion of its product development there are now 12 sites installed in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Poland and Malaysia.

Other investments include US-based companies:

– JouleX  provides a single, network-based, energy-management solution that monitors, analyzes and automatically adjusts the energy usage of a network’s connected devices and systems.

– OPOWER which integrates consumer demographics, energy consumption data and behavioral analytics to induce households to make intelligent choices around power consumption.

– SecureRF which provides technology to secure the transmission of data to and from low-powered, wireless devices that will be used throughout the Smart Grid.

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