Perspectives: Big Business

As we report on page 4 of this issue, the sale of Alstom’s power generation and grid business lines to General Electric closed Nov. 2.

This $10.6 billion deal is one of the largest we have reported on, and we don’t yet know the implications it will have on the hydroelectric power industry in North America. Alstom Power has been folded into the GE Power & Water group to form GE Power. So, it appears, the Alstom name will cease to exist when it comes to hydropower. GE did say it plans to grow its hydro business, which already accounts for more than 25% of the total hydropower capacity worldwide.

Both parties to the transaction seem to be pleased with the outcome.

From the new www.ge-alstom.com website, “Welcome to GE reimagined. This is a pivotal time in the history of GE. We have begun the alliance that brings Alstom Power and Grid into the GE family. Today we are a more focused and vital industry company, better able to provide for your power needs. It is a huge leap forward in GE’s evolution into a digital industrial company.”

And from Alstom’s website, “Today represents a major milestone in Alstom’s history. We managed to secure a win-win deal with General Electric, which protects the interests of employees and customers in the Energy businesses, while reinforcing Alstom’s positioning in the transport industry.”

As this transaction illustrates, there’s a lot of money associated with the hydroelectric industry. Hydropower is a major business, no doubt about it. To recognize – and call attention to – this fact, we have added a Business & Finance topic center on HydroWorld.com.

Here we can report on news related to transactions, such as a company acquiring a hydroelectric facility, and financing deals, such as that for new development work worldwide. This page also lets us better showcase our Hydro Industry Financials, which provides a market index of companies that do work in hydropower worldwide. At the time I wrote this editor’s note, our Hydroworld Market Index was outperforming Nasdaq, S&P 500 and the New York Stock Exchange!

In addition, we are reporting on job transitions on this page. These can range from new executive hires and promotions to company moves and retirements. Hydroelectric power is a tight-knit industry, and you want to know if a colleague or friend has changed jobs. In addition, these transitions can have an effect on business activities. We’ve also included on this Business & Finance topic center our Hydro Jobs feature, as a service to those looking to get into hydropower or just ready for a change.

From the US$87.2 million it took to build the 21.2-MW Tretheway Creek facility in British Columbia, Canada, to the $140 million in financing recently received by Cube Hydro North America in New York, we are reporting on some big numbers associated with hydropower. And we anticipate much more to come, as hydropower continues to be big business with a strong future.

Elizabeth Ingram
Managing Editor

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