ATLANTA – Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that GE Energy, a world-leading supplier of power generation and energy delivery technologies, will open its Smart Grid Technology Center of Excellence near the company's existing Marietta headquarters in Cobb County.
This project represents a $15 million investment, and will create 400 jobs over the next three years.
"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 Perdue. "The solutions that will be developed at the Smart Grid Technology Center of Excellence not only benefit GE Energy's customers, but will also serve as a model for smart and responsible energy production throughout this industry."
The GE Energy Smart Grid Technology Center of Excellence will be responsible for developing smart grid technology to markets around the world. The Center will also manage the research and development of new technology for power plant automation, monitoring electrical grids and full integration of an "energy internet."
The solutions developed at the Center will build in efficiencies to optimize the resources of power plants, conserve natural resources and ultimately reduce electricity rates for industry and consumers.
"Atlanta is an ideal location for us to continue to grow our Smart Grid business," said Bob Gilligan, vice president of GE's Digital Energy business. "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."
Through this project, GE Energy has formed a partnership with Georgia Tech to develop its workforce as well as to conduct research and development related to smart grid technology.
The company has pledged $1.5 million to Georgia Tech in support of this new partnership, which represents the largest educational commitment the company has made to date.
"Research on smart grid technologies and their related systems is important at Georgia Tech, so there are limitless opportunities to collaborate with GE Energy," said Greg King, Strategic Partners Office at Georgia Tech. "We look forward to working with GE Energy in this latest area of technology and innovation."
Georgia Tech has identified research, laboratory, infrastructure and test bed opportunities that GE Energy will leverage for its smart grid technologies.
Additionally, GE Energy will partner with Georgia Tech's Distance Learning and Professional Education program and the University System of Georgia's Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) to develop customized smart grid technology content within an existing degree program at Georgia Tech.
The company will work with ICAPP and Georgia Tech to develop coursework and electives for a Professional Masters in Systems Engineering degree in smart grid systems and technologies.
In the implementation of its Smart Grid Technology Center of Excellence, GE Energy collaborated with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Cobb County.
The company also received a research grant from the Georgia Research Alliance to fund the infrastructure and equipment for GE Energy's Georgia Tech partnership.
"We are of course excited to hear of GE Energy's plans to expand their company in Cobb County. Clearly GE is a highly-regarded, quality company that has continued to be an exemplary member of our business community since their arrival in Cobb during the mid 90's," said Michael Hughes, director of the Cobb County Office of Economic Development. "We believe this announcement reflects positively on the County's longstanding commitment to providing a dynamic business environment in which companies are able to grow and prosper."
Georgia's nationally recognized Quick Start workforce training program will support GE's smart grid initiative with innovative tools and strategies for building a team with the training and knowledge necessary for success with new smart grid technologies.
Quick Start provides customized workforce training free-of-charge as an incentive for companies to create new jobs in Georgia.
GDEcD project manager Chris Pumphrey assisted the company with this project.
For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.