Schenectady, N.Y., July 10, 2012 — GE will expand its advanced manufacturing battery factory in Schenectady, N.Y., which is part of the company’s new energy storage business.
The new Durathon battery products, which are half the size of conventional lead acid batteries but last ten times longer, are the result of GE‘s $100 million initial investment in battery technology developed at GE’s Global Research Center in nearby Niskayuna, N.Y.
The breakthrough technology will provide reliable and cost-effective energy storage options for a broad range of GE customers globally, including telecom and utility operators.
GE will invest an additional $70 million to expand the Schenectady plant, effectively doubling production and adding 100 new jobs, which will bring the total factory workforce to 450 when at full capacity.
Megatron Federal, an engineering company with products and services in power generation, transmission, distribution, construction and telecommunications based in Johannesburg, South Africa, has signed a purchase agreement for 6,000 batteries, which will be delivered in 2013.
These batteries will ensure the continuous operation of telecom installations in Nigeria, and enable the customer to lower fuel consumption and emissions of the diesel generator powered telecom towers by up to 50 percent.
The battery plant has received support from state and local government in New York, where GE has done business for 130 years. New York State committed $15 million when the new plant was announced in May 2009, and $5 million was committed by Schenectady County’s Metroplex Development Authority.