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General Electric Just Signed Its Largest Power Plant Software Deal Yet

November 15, 2016, 3:44 PM UTC
Photograph by ERIC PIERMONT AFP — Getty Images

General Electric has signed up U.S. energy utility Exelon to use its full software set to analyze and manage power plants in 48 states, the largest GE deployment in the power sector so far, the companies said on Tuesday.

The Exelon deal, aimed at wringing greater efficiency from the business of generating electricity, marks another advance in GE’s (GE) effort to lift annual digital technology revenue to $14 billion in 2020 from $5 billion in 2015, across its many industrial products.

It also is one of the three largest sales of GE’s Predix industrial operating system so far. Exelon has nuclear, wind and fossil fuel-powered plants. The companies did not disclose the value of Exelon’s five-year contract with GE.

In initial uses, GE’s technology has increased power plant efficiency by 3% and reliability by 5%, while cutting operating and maintenance costs 25%, said Steve Bolze, chief executive of GE Power.

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Exelon’s deployment is nearly six times larger than the previous largest GE deal, signed last month with the New York Power Authority and covering 16 power plants in New York state that generate about 5,600 megawatts.

Chicago-based Exelon will use GE’s Predix software and applications across its 91 power plants, which produce 32,700 megawatts and supply more than 10 million customers, the companies said.

Exelon will also use GE software that analyzes the company’s business performance and profitability, something NYPA didn’t choose, GE said. GE and Exelon also agreed to work together on new Predix-based software applications.

GE’s power business accounts for 40% of GE’s digital revenue, said Bolze. About $400 million a year is produced by GE Power’s software business, and that revenue is growing by 50% a year, he added.

Exelon’s agreement follows four pilot projects over the past year and is GE’s “first and largest IoT (internet of things) enterprise-wide deployment of Predix full-suite offerings anywhere in the world,” Bolze said.