GE and XD Electric Group have announced the official formation of a new global partnership combining GE's grid automation capabilities with XD Electric's comprehensive portfolio of high-voltage power equipment. GE now owns 15 percent of XD Electric and holds one board seat. Another component of the partnership includes the formation of a joint venture with XD to offer customers in China GE's localized grid automation equipment and services.

Originally announced in May 2012, the partnership expands GE's industry capabilities as a provider of transmission and distribution  solutions and creates a new global competitor to provide customers with state of the art HV technology offerings in a $100 billion industry.

Through the partnership, GE and XD will offer end-to-end T&D solutions to meet the growing demand for electricity in emerging economies where demographic and urbanization trends are straining the current grid infrastructure; as well as provide customers in developed countries with HV solutions to modernize their aging grids with more efficient and reliable electrical power systems. The combined portfolios also will support the rapid electrification and productivity requirements demanded by energy-intensive industries like oil and gas, mining and petrochemicals.

Much of the T&D growth is expected to continue to occur in China, which has been investing heavily over the past decade in T&D technology and infrastructure. China represents approximately a quarter of the industry's projected global expansion.

"With the world's electricity demand expected to increase by more than 70 percent by 2035 and global grid modernization investments expected to grow by 10 percent over the next five years, we are better able to help utilities and industrial customers upgrade and expand their electrical infrastructure," said John Lavelle, president and CEO of GE's Digital Energy business. "This is a growth trend we are prepared to support with leading-edge T&D systems including HV transformers, HV breakers, gas-insulated switchgear and other HV technologies, leveraging XD's experience developing and deploying extra-high and ultra-high-voltage technology for both AC and DC applications."

XD Electric is one of China's largest and most respected HV equipment manufacturers dedicated to the research, application and development of high- to ultra-high-voltage T&D equipment. XD Electric's technology enables customers to transform and direct the flow of power for industrial, commercial and residential users.