Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Monday, November 16, 2009

New $100 million GE battery plant in New York

Batteries included: Heavy equipment, such as GE’s hybrid locomotive
pictured here, will draw on the cells produced at the new plant.
From GE Reports:

Advanced battery research is jumping out of the lab and onto the factory floor with the announcement that GE will open a new, state-of-the-art battery manufacturing plant in upstate New York. The $100 million project, which will be the backbone of GE’s newly formed battery business, will create 350 new “green collar” manufacturing jobs and thousands more in the supply chain. It’s scheduled to begin production in mid-2011.

GE’s new business, which will be a part of GE Transportation, will manufacture a unique type of battery: a high energy-density sodium-metal-halide cell. It’s particularly suited to the rail, marine, mining, communications and energy sectors — and has the potential to be a $1 billion business for GE over the next decade. The first application will be GE’s hybrid locomotive, which will be commercialized in 2010. GE also has launch customers lined up in several industries including mining, telecommunications, and utilities, with some key applications for backup storage and load leveling for the smart grid.

At full capacity, the plant will be able to produce approximately 10 million cells each year. That translates to 900-megawatt hours of energy storage, or enough energy storage to power 1,000 U.S. homes for a month or enough energy to support 1,000 GE hybrid locomotives.

GE plans to select a site for the new plant by this summer — but the New York location ensures that it will be in close proximity to GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY, where advances to the battery chemistry were developed. To date, GE has invested more than $150 million to develop advanced battery technologies that will provide energy storage for several future product applications, including GE’s ecomagination certified hybrid locomotive, tugboats, mining trucks, and heavy service vehicles.

* Read GE’s backgrounder on hybrid and battery technologies
* Read about GE’s investments in battery-maker A123Systems

About GE Global Research:

GE Global Research was the first industrial research lab in the United States and is one of the world's most diversified research centers, providing innovative technology for all of GE's businesses. Global Research has been the cornerstone of GE technology for more than 100 years, developing breakthrough innovations in areas such as medical imaging, energy generation technology, jet engines, advanced materials and lighting. GE Global Research is headquartered in Niskayuna, New York and has facilities in Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; and Munich, Germany. Visit GE Global Research at