Centre to Develop and Manufacture Efficient, Reliable Global Energy Solutions to Modernize the Electric Grid
Ontario Positioned as Hub for Sustainable Energy Technology
Markham, ON -- March 9, 2011-- Today GE and the Government of Ontario announced a new $40M Grid IQ™ Innovation Centre, the first centre of its kind for GE in Canada, to be located in Markham, Ontario. Grid IQ is GE's companywide commitment to solving customers' toughest challenges with more efficient, reliable and sustainable energy solutions. The 200,000 square foot Centre will develop and manufacture grid modernization technologies and will encompass a global testing and simulation laboratory. The building is expected to open in July 2012.
The announcement was made by Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Energy Brad Duguid, GE Canada President and CEO Elyse Allan and Juan Macias, General Manager, Smart Substations, GE's Digital Energy business. The $40 million project will be supported by a grant of $7.9 million from the Government of Ontario.
The new Centre builds on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) GE signed with the Ontario government in September 2009 to partner and invest long-term within the province to establish new or expanded centres of technology and advanced manufacturing. Under the MOU, GE recently announced the establishment of the company's first Digital Pathology Centre of Excellence in Toronto, and a $100M investment in the GE Motors, Peterborough facility.
GE's Grid IQ™ Innovation Centre will drive research and development, create new innovation-related jobs - including expanded manufacturing, and facilitate global collaboration. GE will add approximately 146 new jobs over the next four years. Additional indirect jobs in high-tech research, design manufacturing and construction are anticipated, beginning when the Centre breaks ground for its new building this spring.
"Through this important partnership, we are creating jobs and establishing centres of excellence for Ontarians in high-growth sectors of the economy," said Minister Pupatello. "The global demand for clean technologies is increasing and today, we're taking another step forward in establishing Ontario as a market leader."
"A smart grid will greatly enhance the reliability of Ontario's electricity system and provide real choices to Ontarians in managing their electricity consumption," said Minister Duguid. "This investment reaffirms our commitment to creating a strong, reliable, clean energy system while cleaning up the air we breathe for future generations."
"GE has been a valued member of our business community with its own 125 year history of excellence and innovation, "said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "We're proud that GE has chosen to expand in Markham with this exciting new innovation centre."
"GE is investing in a better energy future for Canada and the world," said Macias. "Our new Centre will give inventors and problem solvers the resources to accelerate development and testing of new solutions, while expanding GE's smart grid support and manufacturing capabilities. With a highly skilled, educated workforce and multi-lingual residents, Markham is an ideal location for GE's Grid IQ™ Innovation Centre."
"Today's announcement is an excellent example of how business and government can partner to develop innovative technologies that address Ontario's needs while having applicability to sustainable energy demands globally," said Elyse Allan, President and CEO, GE Canada.
With global energy demand forecasted to increase 75% by 2030 and more than 40% of the world's current environmental emissions due to electricity generation, consumers and governments alike are calling for new ideas to improve our current infrastructure. GE's Grid IQ™ Innovation Centre will focus on delivering solutions to improve system efficiency and reliability, and to protect and automate the power system. Specific activities planned for GE's Grid IQ™ Innovation Centre include leading edge research and development in substation and distribution automation, electrical system protection and control, microgrid control, and cyber security.
GE's Grid IQ™ Innovation Centre should become a Canadian destination for companies and countries seeking to upgrade their energy systems. A testing and simulation laboratory can be utilized by global utilities to learn how the Centre's technologies can help their specific infrastructures with simulations and testing before deployment.
New products and solutions created at the site will be supported by manufacturing. GE's Grid IQ™ Innovation Centre will include expanded manufacturing facilities for GE's Smart Grid Automation products, which will relocate from Calgary, Alberta.
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world's toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com. In Canada, GE has operations across the country, including major manufacturing, sales and service locations with 8,000 employees. Follow GE Canada on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/GE_Canada and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/GECanada
For more information:
GE Energy (on-site contact)