GE Power and TEPCO Fuel & Power (Tepco) have signed a memorandum of understanding agreement to jointly develop and introduce Industrial IoT solutions throughout the utility’s thermal power plant fleet, harnessing GE’s secure, cloud-based Predix platform.

As the first step in this agreement, Tepco FP will install GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) software in the LNG-fueled Futtsu Power Station Unit 4.

“As we look at the future energy needs of our customers, we must invest in the latest digital solutions that can help us increase the productivity, efficiency and reliability of our existing power plants,” said Toshihiro Sano, president of Tepco Fuel & Power, Inc. “We look forward to developing a new business strategy with GE by harnessing IIoT technologies that will create new customer value at our domestic and overseas thermal power plants and deliver improved reliability for our customers through improved plant economics.”

Predix, the world's first industrial operating system, powers modern digital industrial businesses that drive the global economy. APM and other Predix-based applications connect industrial assets, collecting and analyzing data to deliver real-time insights to help improve plant performance and operations for both GE and non-GE assets.

The Futtsu APM installation marks the launch of a digital transformation of the utility’s existing fleet of thermal power plants to increase their long-term reliability, flexibility and to help reduce life cycle costs for Tepco FP. Tepco FP and GE are pursuing the digital APM software solution at Tepco’s 1,520-megawatt Futtsu site to improve the operator’s equipment condition monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to increase plant reliability and also to use big data and analytics to promote Tepco FP’s business and operational optimization.

“GE is honored to collaborate with Tepco to deploy our advanced digital solutions to increase the reliability and performance of its thermal power plants and enhance Japan’s energy supply,” said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power. “The Futtsu station installation is our first advanced digital power plant project in Japan and demonstrates the numerous operational benefits that utilities can achieve by investing in the industry’s latest software solutions.”

Futtsu Power Station, Tepco’s third largest natural gas-fueled power plant and one of Japan’s most efficient power stations, is located in Chiba prefecture, 30 kilometers east of Tokyo. GE is scheduled to begin installing the APM solution at the station in 2017.