GE May Set Up Sodium Battery Plant in New York

New York Gov. David A. Paterson and General Electric (GE) Chair and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt announced on March 12 that GE has proposed the establishment of a new sodium battery manufacturing facility in the Capital Region that would also create 350 new jobs.

"We intend to make New York the global capital of the new clean energy economy. That commitment is part of the reason GE is interested in expanding its operations to begin producing high-tech batteries in our state and demonstrates that our strategy will create real jobs for New Yorkers," said Paterson. "This is exactly the kind of project Congress envisioned when it enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and I urge the U.S. Department of Energy to approve this important project for the benefit of New York state."

Immelt said: "This type of public-private partnership is essential to rebuild America's manufacturing base, create new jobs, and to accelerate the pace at which new technology comes to market. As GE launches this technology business, I want to thank Governor Paterson and his economic development team for their assistance in facilitating the agreement that made the selection of New York an easy decision."

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: "For decades the Capital District has been an important region for electronics manufacturing and development. Grants from ESDC and NYSERDA, along with federal stimulus funds, will help General Electric expand its energy operation here. This public-private partnership will not only help develop cutting- edge battery technology but will also provide a needed boost to the Upstate economy in the midst of an economic recession. I thank Governor Paterson and the New York Congressional delegation for their leadership in helping to create these new jobs."

New York State will contribute a combined total of $15 million in grant funds to help facilitate this new project. Empire State Development (ESD) has offered the company a Jobs Now capital grant of up to $12.5 million, while the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will make at least $2.5 million available for the company to implement energy efficiency measures. The proposal is dependent upon the acceptance of GE's application to the U.S. Department of Energy to receive funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Advanced Battery Manufacturing Grant program.

Should GE's application for federal stimulus funding be approved, GE Transportation will establish an approximately 200,000 square foot manufacturing plant in New York's Capital Region to produce GE's sodium batteries, GEMx. This type of battery technology is being used by GE's diesel-electric locomotives. These batteries have a dynamic versatility and will be manufactured for numerous energy storage applications around the globe including in residential, commercial, military, and transportation sectors. The new facility will be the company's first full-scale manufacturing plant producing these innovative batteries.