GE announced today that it sees a future in housing its renewable generation businesses (onshore and offshore wind, hydropower) alongside its grid businesses which include substations and transformers plus solar, storage and distributed energy resource (DER) control software.

GE Renewable Energy chief executive Jerome Pecresse said in a press conference that the move will simplify the lives of GE’s customers by giving them one point of contact for all of their renewable energy power needs.

The company is moving from one in which it sells products to projects, he said. He highlighted India as a market where GE might sell a wind project that would also need a substation and perhaps a transmission line.

“Our commitment to the customer becomes a commitment that the wind farm will be spinning and that the whole wind farm will be connected to the grid and working that day,” he said.

In addition, according to Pecresse, the combining of the two businesses will allow the company to continue to focus on hybrid solutions, such as wind + storage; wind + solar; or solar + storage.

“Many of our customers are thinking about solar and storage,” he said.

GE said in a press release that the proposed moves are part of a broader effort on the part of GE to position the company to meet the evolving needs of the power market, including the growth of renewable energy and that once complete GE will have the most diverse and broadest renewable portfolios in the industry.

Together the combined renewable energy business will employ more than 40,000 people and be worth $16 billion, said Pecresse.

GE will report financial earnings tomorrow (Jan 31).

Clarion Events Power and Energy Series includes a global portfolio of events focused on the generation and distribution of energy and the global transition to renewable energy. These include DistribuTECH, which takes place next week in New Orleans, HydroVision International in Portland, Oregon in July, POWERGEN Asia in Malaysia in September, and POWERGEN Europe in Paris and POWERGEN International in New Orleans, both in November.