Siemens, Bentley Systems to co-develop new utility planning and design software

Smart grid technology is first on the agenda. Software is reprogramming the industrial world.

Siemens and Bentley Systems are taking the next step in their recently announced strategic alliance (see, “Siemens takes ownership state in Bentley via strategic alliance”) by jointly develop new products for the “accelerated digitization of planning, design, and operations for power utilities and industrial power customers,” according to a joint announcement released today.

The first products in this phase of their relationship will integrate Bentley Systems’ utility design and geographic information systems (GIS) capabilities with Siemens’ Power System Simulation (PSS) Suite, to create specific products for power transmission, power distribution, and industrial facilities.

Technology from software products like Siemens PSS Sincal for utility analysis (shown here) will be combined with Bentley design and operations technology to create new software for creation and use of smart grids. (Source: Siemens)

One emerging use for this new software will be in the creation of distributed energy resources (DER), part of the emerging “smart grid.” Such facilities and networks come from smaller power sources that can be combined digitally to provide for spikes in demand. The digitization of the electricity grid requires such modernizations as DER to better manage energy storage and renewable resource generation.

Bentley and Siemens will connect their products so that design and workflow management come from the same package. Utility engineers will have immediate access to important design data when needed for maintenance or repair.

What do we think?

It is interesting to watch two industrial giants — Siemens and GE — become enamored of CAD companies. Siemens is getting cozy with Bentley Systems; GE and PTC keep finding new ways to cooperate.

Several years ago technology philosopher (we jest, barely) Marc Andreessen noted that “software is eating the world.” Last summer he gave us quote 1.1: “software is programming the world.” Or, to paraphrase for the purposes of this article, software is reprogramming the industrial world. Siemens and GE recognize it, and want the software on their side.