Ceramic Industry

GE Battery Plant Receives Extra Jolt

January 15, 2010

GE Transportation has received advanced manufacturing credits for the construction of a manufacturing facility to develop next-generation energy storage systems and create new high-tech manufacturing jobs in the U.S. The tax credit of $25.5 million is part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will be utilized to refurbish a pre-existing GE manufacturing facility in Schenectady, N.Y. GE selected the Schenectady site for energy storage manufacturing in August 2009.

GE has already invested more than $150 million in developing battery technologies, and the tax credit will supplement GE’s investments in the new product line that will serve the rail, marine, mining, telecommunications and utility sectors.

“GE is entering the energy storage market at a critical time in the United States as power system stability and security, and an increase in the renewable energy portfolio, are becoming integral to 21st century economic development,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO of GE Transportation. “GE would like to thank Congress and the White House for the tax credit on the new facility, thereby ensuring U.S. technology leadership and safeguarding U.S. jobs.”

The facility will create 350 new manufacturing jobs in Schenectady, and the State of New York has partnered with GE in the construction of the facility by pledging more than $15 million in incentives. New York government officials welcomed the announcement.

Scheduled to be fully operational by mid-2011, the facility will have the advantage of being in close proximity to GE Global Research in Niskayuna, where advances to the battery chemistry were developed. The batteries, which are a critical piece of energy storage systems, will rely heavily on new materials, new manufacturing technologies and intelligent controls.

At full capacity, the plant could produce approximately 10 million cells capable of generating 900 megawatt-hours of energy per year-the equivalent of the battery power required for 45,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with an 80-mile range or enough energy to support 1000 GE Evolution® series hybrid locomotives.

For more information, visit www.getransportation.com.