General Electric today launched a billion-dollar startup, called Current by GE, and tasked it with applying the company’s vast resources in new ways to add value by connecting the physical and digital worlds. Using LED lighting as the primary physical platform, in conjunction with GE’s Predix data analytics service, Current will also be home to GE’s solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging technology, among others.
Current aims to leverage GE’s institutional knowledge earned through long-term partnerships across virtually every industry imaginable to take services such as energy management, demand response, and energy efficiency to an entirely new level through sophisticated yet economical hardware and software. And by looking at not just a haphazard array of connected devices, but rather holistically through the lens of an Industrial Internet, Current plans to analyze energy consumption and provide customers with data around patterns and needs along with recommendations to increase efficiency – from reducing power levels, to generating power on site to creating new revenue streams for customers through the use of sensors and networked systems in buildings. These advanced solutions will help customers save an estimated 10-20% on their energy bills, and help utility partners better manage their distributed load. According to Jeff Immelt, GE’s Chairman and CEO,
Current combines GE’s products and services in energy efficiency, solar, storage, and onsite power with our digital and analytical capabilities to provide customers – hospitals, universities, retail stores, and cities – with more profitable energy solutions. . . . The creation of a new company within GE reinforces our commitment to take energy to the next level, focusing on custom outcomes for our Commercial & Industrial customers, municipalities and utility partners, and delivering a platform that can be upgraded as technology advancements are made.
Led by GE veteran Maryrose Sylvester, who told BloombergBusiness that “We’re ready to pull it all together into an overall suite of actions and solutions for customers,” Current is well-positioned to revolutionize how customer think about and use electricity. Speaking about the new business’s prospects, Sylvester said “The opportunity is massive.” Some of Current’s initial customers include Walgreens, Simon Property Group, Hilton Worldwide, PPMorgan Chase, Hospital Corporation of America, Intel, and Trane.