Markham, Ontario, March 9, 2011— GE and the government of Ontario announced a new $40 million Grid IQ Innovation Center, the first center of its kind for GE in Canada, to be located in Markham, Ontario.
The 200,000 square foot center 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—digital energy for GE Energy Services. The $40 million project will be supported by a grant of $7.9 million from the Government of Ontario.
The new center builds on a memorandum of understanding GE signed with the Ontario government in September 2009 to partner and invest long-term within the province to establish new or expanded centers of technology and advanced manufacturing.
Under the MOU, GE recently announced the establishment of the company's first Digital Pathology Center of Excellence in Toronto and a $100 million investment in the GE Motors facility
GE's Grid IQ Innovation Center will drive research and development, create new innovation-related jobs — including expanded manufacturing — and facilitate global collaboration.
GE will add about 146 new jobs over the next four years. Additional indirect jobs in high-tech research, design manufacturing and construction are anticipated, beginning when the center breaks ground for its new building this spring.
"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."
With global energy demand forecasted to increase 75 percent by 2030 and more than 40 percent of the world's current environmental emissions resulting from electricity generation, consumers and governments alike are calling for new ideas to improve our current infrastructure.
GE's Grid IQ Innovation Center will focus on delivering solutions to improve system efficiecy and reliability and to protect and automate the power system. Specific activities planned for GE's Grid IQ Innovation center 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 Center 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 center'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 Center will include expanded manufacturing facilities for GE's Smart Grid Automation products, which will relocate from Calgary, Alberta.