President Obama?s Visit to GE in Schenectady Highlights the Role of Wind Energy

Clean energy technology innovation and the ability of U.S. manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace were key themes of President Barack Obama’s visit to General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) Schenectady campus today.

The Schenectady facility is the birthplace of GE and home to GE Energy’s Power & Water division, which develops and manufactures steam turbines, generators, wind turbines and solar power technology. It also is the future home of GE’s advanced battery manufacturing facility. The Schenectady campus employs approximately 4,000 people who develop and manufacture the GE power generation technologies that are helping to provide more than a quarter of the world’s electricity.

The presidential visit highlights the company’s history of innovation in the Capital Region, which traces back to 1887 when Thomas Edison moved his Edison Machine Works to Schenectady, forming the General Electric Company in 1892. GE today is the nation’s second largest exporter and employs 300,000 employees world-wide, operating locally in more than 100 countries.

GE CEO Jeff Immelt gave the president a tour of GE’s steam turbine and generator manufacturing facility—one of the largest of its kind in the world. GE has been supplying steam turbines and generators from the Schenectady site for more than a century. Today, more than 90 percent of the turbines and generators made in Schenectady are exported around the world.

On the tour, President Obama saw steam turbines and components that are part of a large power turbine deal announced last November during the president’s visit to India. The Schenectady plant is manufacturing steam turbines and generators for a Reliance Power Ltd. project in India that will be the largest combined-cycle project in the country. GE’s ability to export these products helps to support more than 1,200 manufacturing jobs and more than 400 engineering jobs in Schenectady.

“It is a great honor to host President Obama at our historic Schenectady facility,” said Immelt. “Our investments and commitment to innovation drive everything we do. The work done in Schenectady and across the Capital Region is key to our continued business success, enabling us to make a significant contribution to America’s manufacturing growth.”

While touring the facility, Immelt also spoke to the president about GE’s commitment to America’s clean energy future. GE is one of the leading providers of renewable energy equipment in the world, with more than 14,500 wind turbines installed in more than 21 countries providing enough power to operate more than 7.25 million homes. GE recently opened its global renewable energy headquarters on the Schenectady campus. Through its ecomagination campaign, the company has approved more than 100 products and services across its broad portfolio of energy, aviation and transportation solutions.

President Obama also was briefed about the company’s recent technology investments and job creation in New York’s Capital Region. These initiatives include:

* Locating a state-of-the-art battery manufacturing facility on the Schenectady campus which will add 350 jobs to the site at full capacity;
* Establishing the Renewable Energy Global Headquarters in Schenectady, which has spurred the creation of more than 650 new jobs locally;
* Opening a new, state-of-the-art digital mammography production facility for GE Healthcare, which has added 150 jobs at the Rensselaer Technology Park; and
* Completing a $150 million dollar renovation of the Global Research Center in Niskayuna and the recent addition of 200 new jobs to the facility.

These initiatives will, when complete, represent more than $300 million of local investment and more than 1,300 new jobs in the area. GE now employs approximately 7,000 people across the Capital Region.