GE Uses Cloud Computing to Boost Wind-Energy Output 20%

UPDATE: This story has been updated with financial performance data.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Electric  (GE) is introducing a wind-farm system that boosts production as much as 20% percent by linking turbines with software that not only gathers and analyzes industrial data but improves its analytical capability over time by learning from a machine's performance.

"Every business, including our own at GE, and every industry is being transformed by smarter digital technologies, and the greatest opportunity lies in energy," Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power & Water, said in a statement. "The question is not whether to start down this path ... it's about knowing how to get the most out of your digital transformation. That's what will separate industry leaders from those left behind."

The new product is one piece of CEO Jeffrey Immelt's plan to boost sales from GE's sprawling industrial divisions as he sells off most of the lucrative finance business to focus on the company's manufacturing roots. About 73% of GE revenue, or $108 billion, came from industrial businesses last year. Of that, about $27 billion was from the power and water unit.

With the new wind-farm platform, which connects GE's cloud-based Predix system to the turbines, operators can adjust the machines in real time to achieve the best results. Cost savings from the technology, if applied to all wind turbines, would add $50 billion in value to the global wind industry, by adding $100 million in value to every 100 mega-watt farm, the company estimated. 

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