GE technology already supplies as much as 55% of Iraq’s electricity, and that number may soon grow. GE signed “principles of cooperation” with the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity to help the country generate up to an additional 14 gigawatts by shoring up existing power plants and building new ones over the next five years.
The plan also aims to create up to 65,000 direct and indirect jobs, and “support the government to realize savings and recoverable losses of up to $3 billion per year.” Also on the agenda: establishing a local technology center and improving access to water and healthcare. “Our presence in Iraq is based on a history of trust, partnership and success that spans over 50 years,” said Russell Stokes, president and CEO of GE Power.
Read more about the plan here.
In April 2014, GE Power and the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity were putting the finishing touches on a new power plant in Al Qayara, Iraq, that would produce 750 megawatts of electricity — enough to help supply up to 750,000 homes, including in nearby Mosul. Just months later, ISIS attacked the site, rendering the plant inoperable. The GE Power team returned to Qayara in 2017 with a mission: to bring power back to Mosul.
Let there be light: Though few other multinational power corporations dared venture into Mosul in early 2017, the GE team vowed to restore power as soon as possible. They joined up with SENMIC — an Iraqi engineering, procurement and construction company — to recruit employees and shipped materials through the Iraqi port city of Basra, more than 550 miles away. GE’s security team fortified the site with multiple security stops and reinforcements, taking extra measures to ensure the safety of everybody on-site. Today, Qayara is 90% restored, generating up to 500 MW of power. The site is expected to hit full capacity by December and contribute roughly 10 hours of daily power to the region.
Read more about the Qayara project here.
The electrical grid is sometimes called the world’s largest machine. Inspecting it isn’t easy, especially when it comes to sections of the grid carrying electricity through rugged and remote areas.
An eye for AI: Ground maintenance crews, typically equipped with cameras and binoculars, can now call for air support and bring in flying drones equipped with digital sensors and cameras. They can take detailed images from the air and relay them instantly to a cloud-based platform for analysis. The company behind this platform is Avitas Systems, a Boston-based GE venture launched in 2017 that applies robotics, artificial intelligence and risk-based predictive analytics to industrial inspections.
Read more about Avitas Systems here.
1. Bending sound
Researchers at the University of Sussex invented technology called SoundBender that emits sound waves that are able to bend themselves around an obstacle and also levitate an object. Self-bending beams have the potential to protect certain buildings from noise and possibly shield areas from earthquakes.
2. World’s fastest camera
Researchers at Caltech and Quebec’s Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique created the world’s fastest camera, capable of capturing 10 trillion frames per second. “This new camera literally makes it possible to freeze time to see phenomena — and even light — in extremely slow motion,” INRS stated in a press release.
3. Probiotics and antibiotics work together
Scientists from MIT have found a way to combine antibiotics and probiotics to wipe out strains of drug-resistant bacteria that infect wounds, including MRSA. The researchers envision that their technology could lead to new bandages and other dressings that contain both antibiotics and probiotics, helping protect wounds and open sores from becoming infected.
Plus, haptic gloves and structural car batteries in this week’s Coolest Things on Earth.
— QUOTE OF THE DAY —
“We are honored to support the government’s focus on rebuilding Iraq, and we are proud of our legacy of delivering power where needed in the country.”
— Russell Stokes, president and CEO of GE Power
Quote: GE Reports. Images: Getty Images.
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