With a fresh mentality, GE Vernova is on a mission to electrify and decarbonize the world 

Recently formed as a result of GE spinning off its energy businesses, GE Vernova is an independent, purpose-built energy company. The business comprises three segments: Power, Wind, and Electrification, the latter of which is further divided into the Electrification Systems and Electrification Software businesses.   

GE Vernova is also supported by its accelerator businesses of advanced research, consulting services, and financial services. Leveraging over 130 years of experience in tackling global challenges, GE Vernova is uniquely positioned to help lead the energy transition by continuing to electrify the world while simultaneously working to decarbonize it.  

hilippe Piron, CEO of GE Vernova’s Electrification Systems
hilippe Piron, CEO of GE Vernova’s Electrification Systems

Having become an independent company on April 2, 2024, we’re joined by Philippe Piron, CEO of GE Vernova’s Electrification Systems, to learn more about the company’s mission and the practical ways it is working to achieve it.  

“Our mission is embedded in our name,” Philippe opens. “We’ve retained our treasured ‘GE’ legacy in our name as an enduring and hard-earned badge of quality and ingenuity. Vernova, on the other hand, comes from the combination of ‘ver’ or ‘verde,’ which signals Earth’s verdant and lush ecosystems, and ‘nova’ from the Latin ‘novus,’ nods to a new, innovative era of low-carbon energy that we will help deliver.  

“We’re headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but we have a network of over 80,000 employees located in over 100 countries across the globe. We help our customers power economies and deliver electricity that is vital to health, safety, security, and improved quality of life.” 

Responsive and flexible 

Turning to some of the company’s milestones, Philippe continues: “GE Vernova’s Haliade-X was the first offshore wind turbine in the industry to break the 12 megawatts barrier. The Haliade-X is being deployed at projects in the UK and US, helping those countries transition to cleaner energy sources. 

“Also, in September 2023, we announced that our Gas Power division’s H-Class heavy duty gas turbine fleet has accumulated more than two million commercial operating hours across 88 global units. The fleet is one of the most responsive and flexible in the industry, enabling grid operators to dispatch power quickly, and complement intermittent renewable sources.” 

Specifically, GE Vernova’s Electrification segment is experiencing tremendous success. “The electrification segment provides products, solutions, and services required for effective transmission, distribution, conversion, storage, and digital orchestration of electricity from point of generation to point of consumption,” Philippe states.  

“Electrification Systems comprises Grid Solutions, Power Conversion and Solar & Storage Solutions. Grid Solutions is a leading global player, offering a broad portfolio of grid systems and solutions for expanding and upgrading electrical networks, the backbone of the energy transition. Power Conversion provides energy conversion technologies and systems allowing the decarbonization of industrial end-uses through electrification, and our Solar & Storage Solutions business produces solar inverters and utility-scale battery energy storage solutions.”  

Impressive portfolio 

“The Electrification segment is the fastest growing segment within GE Vernova, with an addressable market of $75 million as of 2022 that is expected to more than double by 2030 due to accelerating the energy transition and the drive for energy security. Whether it’s equipping an EV fleet, powering ports, or decarbonizing heavy industry, electricity demand is expected to grow by more than 50 percent between now and 2040, according to the International Energy Agency.” 

As one of few companies supporting the full value chain of electrification, GE Vernova is continuously innovating. “Our portfolio includes a two-gigawatt BiPoleGE Vernova HVDC Offshore Grid Connection Solutions High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) system, which is the most efficient and cost-effective way of transmitting bulk power over long distance, as well as interconnecting desynchronized grids or integrating offshore renewables,” says Philippe. 

“This technology is the basis of our work for TenneT, the Dutch-German Transmission System Operator, as well as National Grid’s Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) project in the UK. Alongside our consortium partners, Seatrium and McDermott, we were awarded five contracts in 2023 for TenneT’s innovative two-gigawatt program in The Netherlands. These five contracts are among 11, two-gigawatt contracts awarded to HVDC suppliers as part of a project to connect 40 gigawatts of offshore wind farms to high-voltage grids in The Netherlands and Germany.  

Positive impact 

“For National Grid, we’re working on a two-gigawatt HVDC electric superhighways to be built between Scotland and England. This project will see us supply a state-of-the-art HVDC system to enable the transmission of two gigawatts of power via our 525 kilovolt BiPole configuration. The technology will be engineered, manufactured, and delivered from our facilities in Stafford, England, providing significant support for a UK project from within. 

“EGL1 is designed to significantly increase the UK’s capacity to transport clean, renewable energy to consumers by improving the capability and resistance of the electric transmission network. HVDC technology is a critical step to achieving the UK Government’s 2030 carbon reduction target.” 

To cater to increased demand, the business is investing in several areas. “We’re investing in our industrial capacities and engineering capabilities,” Philippe states. “We’re investing in our Stafford facility with the aim of doubling the manufacturing capacity of both HVDC valves and power transformers. We also have expansion plans for our medium-voltage electrical systems in France, Germany, and the US. 

“Our mission is to electrify and decarbonize the world, and I believe our 80,000 employees across the world are as excited as I am about our ability to have such a positive impact on the world,” he concludes. “I would like to see GE Vernova leading the electrification and decarbonization of the world, while creating value for our customers, employees, business partners, and investors.”