You may not know the company Alstom by name, but chances are good you at least know of its technology. One in four light bulbs in the world are powered by technology derived from Alstom, whose focus is innovative power generation, rail transportation, and power grid management. Founded in 1928, the French company first became involved in transportation in 1932, when it acquired a electric locomotive and electric and hydraulic company. Today, Alstom has provided major equipment for a quarter of the world’s power plants.
Alstom’s transportation focus is in the field of high-speed rail and very high speed rail, where it is ranked number one worldwide. Recently, it delivered new high-speed trains to Virgin Train’s United Kingdom line and a very high-speed train to Italian rail operator Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori. In January 2012, Alstom was granted a €50 million contract to increase commuter train capacity and efficiency in the UK.
As rail lines require a great deal of power, Alstom’s endeavors in the global energy field are only natural. But Alstom is not all coal-based power plants — though they manufacture a fair number of those — it has options ranging from gas and coal to solar and wind energy. Alstom’s biggest power project is the largest commercial-scale geothermal plant in the world, which is located in New Zealand and has been under continuous use for over fifty years.
Of course, all of those power-producing projects would mean little without the means to deliver their product. For that reason, Alstom’s third focus is the power grids themselves. From pioneering double motion circuit breaker technology to providing some of the most stable power grids in the world, Alstom’s 125 years of experience is extremely valuable. Now on the cusp of smart grid technology, changing the staid power grids of the past to intelligent, adjustable infrastructures, the company is poised to keep building on its expertise long into the future.
As it always has, Alstom looks to the future in its three focus areas. By constantly developing new and better technology, the company continues to innovate, a quality which ensures it will remain one of the world’s top-ranked companies well into the twenty-first century.