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GE to merge LEDs with solar, batteries and electric vehicles

Newly formed company to focus on energy efficiency using data analytics

General Electric has combined its LED, solar, energy storage and electric vehicle businesses into a new company called Current. 

Maryrose Sylvester, president and CEO at GE Lighting, will run the enterprise which will focus on energy efficiency using GE's Predix data analytics platform. 

"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," said Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE.

Current will begin with more than $1 billion of revenue and provide energy-as-a-service that includes sensor-enabled hardware, software, fulfillment, product management and financing solutions.

Through Predix, GE will analyse 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. It says these will help customers save an estimated 10-20 percent on their energy bills, and help utility partners better manage their distributed load.

Key customers, including Walgreens, Simon Property Group, Hilton Worldwide, JPMorgan Chase, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Intel and Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand, are piloting Current's solutions.

Matt Harris, divisional VP of Facilities Asset Management for Walgreens said: "For more than 25 years, we have worked with GE to bring improved lighting technologies to stores and most recently installed GE's environmentally-sustainable LED lighting products in some of our stores. It is important that we continue to find innovative, sustainable technology and explore ways to leverage software platforms like GE's Predix to assess our energy needs and increase efficiency. That is not only smart for our communities and planet but also makes good business sense."

"As part of Simon's continued effort to improve energy efficiency at its properties, the company is exploring several new energy saving opportunities, in addition to our use of LEDs, including innovative new battery storage concepts," said Tim Earnest, executive VP for Simon Management Group.

"Pairing these technologies with GE's Predix data systems and software could lead to powerful, cost effective, efficient energy solutions. With more than 200 malls, The Mills and Premium Outlets in North America, Simon's scale lends itself well to testing energy efficiency programs for potential use across its portfolio."

Current will be based in the greater Boston, Mass. metropolitan area, with an additional presence in Silicon Valley. 

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