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Press Release

GE Digital OPM for Power Generation Provides Modular, Interoperable Performance Optimization Tools for a Changing Industry

October 14, 2020
  • Process Digital Twin solutions allow generators to extract additional value from assets with new operating modes that unify the plant to trading floor to maintain optimal performance
  • Performance Intelligence, Performance Optimization and Production Planning modules connect users, asset capabilities, and analytics to remove inefficiencies and drive profitability

SAN RAMON, Calif. – October 14, 2020 – GE Digital today introduced its Operations Performance Management (OPM) solution for Power Generators. This robust three-module solution increases revenue and margins by coupling Process Digital Twin technology based on first principles (physics-based modelling), AI, and advanced machine learning, with cutting-edge modelling and analytics and edge control, enabling optimized power plant performance across a generation fleet.

OPM improves the performance of plants, sites, and generation portfolios by consolidating data into a coherent single source of truth available to users across the organization, from the plant to headquarters. It also ties in historical context and economic impact with expanded operational capability to drive actionable insights and decision support. This information is used to monitor and diagnose performance issues, identify areas of improvement, and predict capacity and its cost, to improve day ahead and intraday planning. The resulting guidance and executable advice drive desired outcomes for improved efficiency, flexibility, capacity, and emissions.

“In today’s rapidly changing power industry, utilities and power generators have the difficult task of servicing the market while managing volatility in fuel prices, increasing competition, changing consumer behavior, and displacement by renewables,” said Linda Rae, General Manager for GE Digital’s Power Generation and Oil & Gas business. “We are seeing the effects of the dynamics as a shift in gas and coal plant operating profiles from base power to daily shifting demand and renewable balance. And, regional dynamics are affecting the pace and timing of transformation. Companies are asking: How can my plant thrive in this competitive and dynamic landscape?”

Due to renewables and a global focus on emissions reduction, thermal plants cycle more often and are online less, shrinking the window of generating opportunity. These new operating modes mean that generators increasingly need tools that enable flexible operations, leverage machine learning and AI technologies, support process automation, and support accurate, timely dispatch. With a connected UX from plant to trading floor, traders, dispatch planners, and commercial teams can have accurate and timely information on plant-specific capabilities and costs, and as a result, optimize their market offers and dispatch decisions to manage risk and uncertainty, while increasing margins and profit.

“Power generators tell ARC that today they face far more complex operations,” said Harry Forbes, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group. “Long before COVID-19, their fleets had to operate with more frequent cycling, yet with higher performance and environmental targets.  Now they also field smaller and more remote staffs and face still lower capacity utilization. GE Digital’s OPM solution takes a broad view of this situation – examining the power value chain all the way from dynamic fuel prices to unit performance and electrical locational marginal price (LMP). It also lets utilities evaluate both the financial and the operational impact of short-term opportunities. This is the kind of multi-faceted analytics and decision support capability that today’s utilities require.”

With better monitoring, diagnostics and guidance, generators can ensure performance is maintained to minimize costs and improve output. They can apply models and analytics at the plant and asset level to open operating boundaries and optimize operations. They can bring individual plant capabilities to the forefront of the decision-makers – traders and dispatchers – in a way that presents advice, rather than just data, in real time and contextualized for the role and decision that needs to be made.

OPM for Power Generation is made up of three interoperable modules that connect users, asset capabilities, and market analytics to remove inefficiencies and drive profitability:

  • Performance Optimization, to safely expand operating limit boundaries, understand economic tradeoffs and close the loop to improve performance with ML/AI-enabled optimizers and advanced Edge controls.
    • Start Optimization: Drive start consistency, up to 40% improvement in start fuel, time, and / or emissions.
    • Capacity Dispatch Optimization: Trade efficiency for 3.5% maintenance free output.
    • Efficiency Optimization: Reduce fuel consumption up to 2% in the plant.
    • Automap: Lower costs and improve efficiency and emissions with AI/ ML-enabled combustion control and emissions tuning.
  • Production Planning, to maximize margins and manage risk with accurate performance predictions and decision support.
    • Dispatch Position & Market Share (Dereg): Increase profitable dispatch with more accurate capacity and heat rate predictions and guidance.
    • Dispatch Efficiency & Fuel Savings (Reg): Improve dispatch efficiency and reduce fuel costs with more accurate capacity and heat rate predictions, and dynamic economic dispatch advice.
    • Risk Management: Minimize real-time exposure and maximize on-peak offers.
    • Fuel Purchasing: Reduce risk of imbalance fees with fuel demand forecasts and advice.
  • Performance Intelligence, to achieve operating targets with key performance indicators (KPIs), scorecards, and analytics-based alerts and advisors.
    • Fuel Cost Reduction: Improve plant heat rate through thermal performance monitoring, alerts, and recommendations providing performance degradation impacts and recovery advice.
    • O&M Process Improvement: Improve O&M activities through operational decision support tools providing plant thermal performance and business impact information and recommendations.
    • Dispatch Operations Improvement: Improve plant starts and generation through operational performance monitoring tools, insights, and guidance.

“The global energy landscape is in the midst of a grand transformation,” said GE Digital’s Rae. “Digital technologies will be pervasive and transformative, opening up new business models.”

GE Digital’s Operations Performance Management (OPM) for Power Generation is generally available. More information can be found here.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ellie Holman
Product & Technology Communications
GE Digital
[email protected]

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