Consumer and business uptake of cloud computing, mobile internet voice, video and real-time data are increasing energy demand dramatically among data centers, telecom and IT service providers. Anticipating the trend will continue for quite some time, General Electric (GE) today announced its plan to acquire Lineage Power Holdings from Los Angeles private equity firm, Gores Group, for $520 million.
Lineage Power, formerly Tyco Electronics Power Systems, designs, manufactures and sells what it calls “high-efficiency power conversion infrastructure technology.” Its used to convert alternating to direct currents or vice versa in a wide variety of contexts. The equipment is installed in systems that run small to large power plants, data centers, networks, even airplanes (namely in navigation tools in the cockpit, or in-flight entertainment systems).
The company claims its technology in the data center can:
“Reduce energy loss and lower cooling costs by 50-70%…prioritize sustainable energy sources like solar, wind, water and fuel cells over traditional utility grid or diesel generator sources – and [allow power systems to] intelligently respond to smart grid information to reduce [a company's energy] consumption during peak demand periods.”
Among Lineage Power’s clients are Verizon, Cisco, Ericsson, HP and Oracle.
This acquisition will cost GE more than five-times what the company is investing through its Ecomagination Challenge in earlier stage clean tech companies and concepts. GE Energy Services has been involved in about a dozen deals in the last 6 months, with its largest a bid to acquire Dresser — another privately held energy infrastructure company — for $3.1 billion. Its other acquisitions during that time have been in smart grid companies in the U.K., Australia and Canada, and in joint ventures and other deals with energy businesses in China and Turkey.