It’s a fact of life that hurricanes, heat waves and snowstorms all bring the possibility of power outages. According to the Electric Research Power Institute, those outages and disturbances cost utilities and consumers in the U.S. more than $150 billion annually. In January, General Electric launched Grid IQ Insight in hopes of enabling utilities to identify system outages quickly, thus, minimizing outage times and greatly reducing costs associated with those system outages.
It’s called an Internet product platform and works with social media sites. If someone on Twitter tweets something out relating to a power outage, the utility company is immediately informed. Grid IQ’s analysis can identify trouble spots and outages before customers call in. That enables utilities to respond more quickly to outages and minimize customer disruptions.
Grid IQ also tracks solar energy. US solar energy consumption is projected to grow by 31 percent in 2013, but most utilities cannot track distributed energy day to day. Grid IQ combines solar interconnection, weather and meter data to model distributed energy’s effects on network reliability. It also tells customers how much solar power is saving them daily.
GE plans to roll out nine different Internet product platforms across other segments of its business, including, for example, healthcare, aviation and turbines.