Measuring the impact of the GE Energy acquisition of SNC Lavalin ECS business unit

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By Chuck Newton, Newton-Evans Research

Well, it was inevitable that GE would make a play for a larger share of the global EMS/SCADA/DMS market and today the company announced the acquisition of the Montreal-based Energy Control Systems business unit of SNC Lavalin.

With this acquisition, Newton-Evans believes GE Energy now ranks fourth in the world in terms of numbers of significant energy management, large SCADA and large distribution management systems. Note that the “GENe” name of the ECS’ offerings might just be an added plus!

A few quick facts about the impact of this acquisition:

1) SNC Lavalin’s ECS business has dozens of large control systems installations in world regions that will now be more receptive to GE Energy solutions including strenthening the company’s visibility in China, Egypt and parts of Latin America.

2) History: SNC-Lavalin Energy Control Systems, until today a member of SNC-Lavalin Transmission & Distribution, had been a wholly owned subsidiary of the SNC-Lavalin Group specializing in the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of its GENe state-of-the-art real-time control systems. The GENe product portfolio includes supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), distribution management systems (DMS), energy management systems (EMS) and generation management systems (GMS).

3) Turnkey Solutions Provider: The ECS business unit provides complete turnkey solutions to the utility sector including consulting, feasibility studies, design, infrastructure construction, real-time control systems, telecommunications, remote terminal units, distribution automation, substation automation, training and technology transfer.

4) Successes: This new unit of GE Energy has been supplying SCADA, DMS, EMS and GMS real-time control systems to the power sector for over 40 years, with systems installed in six continents. Based on an open, distributed architecture, these mission-critical systems are helping utilities manage generating stations, high-voltage transmission networks, as well as medium and low voltage distribution networks.

GENe helps utilities meet the challenges of smart grid, energy savings, demand response and overall improvement of operational efficiency. In 2007 SNC-Lavalin ECS had acquired DTI TELECOM, an engineering firm specializing in telecommunications and security, thus providing additional expertise to its clients.

With its extensive experience in managing large and complex projects, as well as its solutions-oriented approach, its multicultural team, and its flexibility, SNC-Lavalin Energy Control Systems has been able to offer global solutions for small, medium, or large projects and to quickly adapt to changing market needs. Under GE Energy’s wing, the business opportunities for the company will surely expand.

5) Open Architecture: SNC-Lavalin’s GENe products are based on an open system architecture and are designed to internationally recognized standards. The system architecture is fully redundant for mission-critical high availability, and provides high performance real-time graphics. GENe products support the IEC 61970 and 61968 CIM standards and the NERC/FERC standards for cyber security.

The GENe SCADA supports a wide range of industry-standard and legacy protocols, including DNP3, IEC-60870-5-101/104, Telegyr, Conitel, Modbus, TASE.2 ICCP, ELCOM-90. It is fully integrated with the GENe DMS, EMS and GMS products for real-time network analysis, and can be deployed in substation automation and pipeline management projects.

The GENe DMS product provides utilities with a comprehensive suite of applications and tools for efficient, reliable, and cost-effective management of distribution networks, including fault detection, isolation, and system restoration, Volt/VAR control, outage management and intelligent switching management.

Its sophisticated network model supports three-phase unbalanced distribution networks. The DMS product provides its GIS Gateway for initial population and online incremental updates of the network model and operating displays.

The DMS applications are fully integrated with the GENe SCADA and EMS products and use a common real-time database, so analyses and recommendations are based on the real-time state of the network.

Smart grid applications of the GENe DMS product are already being used by several customers around the world. SNC-Lavalin continually invests in the development of the GENe product to further its advancement in smart grid technology.

The GENe EMS and GMS products include a full suite of generation management and transmission network security analysis applications that use state-of-the-art algorithms.

Based on the Nexant SCOPE engine, the EMS applications are fully integrated with the other GENe products and use a common real-time database.

As a result, the displays used for real-time SCADA operations can also be used to display network security analysis results. GENe EMS applications include state estimator, dispatcher power flow, outage scheduling, pre-switching validation, transmission loss penalty factor, reactive reserve monitor, contingency analysis, contingency remedial action, optimal power flow, volt-var control, security-constrained dispatch, and dispatcher training simulator.

GENe GMS applications include load forecast, unit commitment, automatic generation control, economic dispatch, reserve monitoring, and production costing. SNC-Lavalin continues to invest in the development of the GENe EMS product to provide additional functionalities for the EMS market.

6) Significant SNC-Lavalin Key Customers include: Hydro-Quàƒ©bec (Canada), NSTAR Electric & Gas (USA), Public Service Electric & Gas (USA), Provincial Electricity Authority of Thailand, Powerlink Queensland (Australia), Taiwan Power Co. (Taiwan), Sichuan Electric Power Company (China), Alinta (Australia), Energex (Australia), Elektro Slovenija (Slovenia), Elektro Maribor (Slovenia), Elektro Gorenjska (Slovenia), EDELCA (Venezuela), Hebei Electric Power Co. (China), Canal Co. for Elec. Dist. (Egypt), Alexandria Electricity Dist. Co. (Egypt), Hydro Mississauga (Canada) , and Electriricidad de Caracas (Venezuela).


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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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