GE has already invested more than $150 million in developing batteries 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.
Congressman Paul Tonko said, "This is another piece of great news for the advanced battery plant planned for Schenectady. This tax credit will help re-purpose an existing facility on GE’s Schenectady campus, create hundreds of good paying new jobs, and solidify our region’s reputation as a leader in technology and renewable energy. I am proud to have partnered with GE and other officials at all levels of government to help move this project forward."
Congressman Scott Murphy said, "When President Obama visited Upstate New York in September, we talked about how hi-tech investments can help local businesses lead our nation into the 21st century economy. The advanced battery plant is a perfect example of the type of project that will create hundreds of jobs and help make Upstate New York the center of the new, 21st-century innovation economy."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This is another step forward in the revitalization of Schenectady. These federal dollars will help create new jobs, develop new technology to power industries, and help rebuild our economy."
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 1,000 GE Evolution(R) Series hybrid locomotives.
About GE Transportation Established more than 100 years ago, GE Transportation, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a global technology leader and supplier to the railroad, marine, drilling, and mining and wind power industries. GE Transportation provides freight and passenger locomotives, signaling and communications systems, information technology solutions, marine engines, motorized drive systems for mining trucks and drills, high-quality replacement parts and value added services. GE Transportation is headquartered in Erie, Penn., and employs approximately 10,000 employees worldwide.