Continuing to improve and enhance its offerings for customers, General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) Energy Consulting group announced a number of upgrades to its advanced Multi-Area Production Simulation (MAPS) software program at its recent, annual MAPS and MARS User Group Meeting—which took place October 28-29 at the company’s Schenectady facility. The new improvements to GE’s MAPS software will enable users to model the economic operation of their power system more accurately and allow them to make well-informed decisions about their system.

“Our MAPS software is one of the fastest production simulations models in the industry, and now we’ve made it even faster,” said Devin Van Zandt, software managing director, Energy Consulting. “We’ve unveiled a new user interface for the software, Compass, streamlining the input/output process and improving overall functionality. New features, such as this user interface and several new output processing tools, all contribute to a faster, smarter software solution for our customers.”

Improvements to GE’s MAPS solution enable the software to handle computations up to 70 percent faster than before. The new Compass interface makes interactions with MAPS input/output files easier and allows for simple scenario management, live error checking, project management and enhanced visualizations. Also improving visualization capabilities, the software allows for longitude and latitude to be input and viewed via a map in the solution’s new geospatial view.

Improving the software’s speed was just one of the driving factors in the development of this latest MAPS upgrade. The upgrade also integrates many new features that improve the system’s modeling capabilities to address future challenges. The updated MAPS software now allows for modeling of distributed resources, enabling users to model demand response programs and to visualize the impact of distributed solar and energy efficiency programs on their network. This better equips users to adjust to policy changes that may occur as distributed energy resources become more prevalent. The solution also now can capture uncertainties between real-time pricing and pricing for the next day, helping customers to assess the impact between the two and make adjustments to improve the efficiency of their operations.

GE’s updated MAPS offering now features transmission line outage modeling, helping users to assess the impact that an outage—or multiple outages—may have on a contingency in an electric market. It also provides insight as to how outages may affect electricity prices.

Another new addition to GE’s MAPS solution is the inclusion of daily fuel prices in the system. By updating fuel prices daily, users can be sure that they are viewing and using the most accurate figures available when modeling their system. This enables users to accurately model fuel prices at a much higher resolution than previously possible.

Creating customized reports is significantly easier with the introduction of snappy, the output processing Python library that Energy Consulting specifically designed for its MAPS solution. This library enables users to leverage the growing tools that come along with Python and to create visually appealing spreadsheets and charts of MAPS output data.

In addition to these improvements to its MAPS solution, GE announced the next release of its Multi Area Reliability Simulation (MARS) software. Similar to the enhancements made to GE’s MAPS technology, the improvements to its MARS platform also are focused around speed—both in execution and time spent working with the model. Enhancements made this year to GE’s MARS solution include significant simplification of some of the input data, making users more efficient when manipulating the data. Additionally, GE has made enhancements to the model’s execution speed. With these improvements, users who utilize the high-performance computing capabilities of GE’s MARS solution are able to realize speed improvements equal to 20 times that of standard desktop execution. (Original Source)

Shares of General Electric closed yesterday at $30.52. GE has a 1-year high of $30.90 and a 1-year low of $19.37. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $28.81 and its 200-day moving average is $26.70.

On the ratings front, General Electric has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 16, Deutsche Bank analyst John G. Inch maintained a Hold rating on GE, with a price target of $28, which represents a potential downside of 8.3% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on November 11, William Blair’s Nicholas Heymann maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $32.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, John G. Inch and Nicholas Heymann have a total average return of 12.4% and 3.9% respectively. Inch has a success rate of 80.0% and is ranked #589 out of 3855 analysts, while Heymann has a success rate of 53.8% and is ranked #1793.

Overall, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 7 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $31.25 which is 2.4% above where the stock closed yesterday.