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GE opening new battery plant

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Albany/HV: GE opening new battery plant
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General Electric is generating a lot of attention, as it announced the creation of hundreds of jobs at their brand new battery plant. Our Megan Cruz got a tour of the new facility Tuesday at its official grand opening.

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Some pyrotechnics at a press conference Tuesday showed what General Electric's new Durathon battery can do - and a peak into the plant that will mass-produce them.

GE announced this new battery plant back in 2009, they broke ground in 2010, and on Tuesday, "I'm really happy to welcome all of you here to the grand opening of our brand new, state of the art battery manufacturing facility," said Prescott Logan, the general manager.

It's news that's generating a lot of excitement in the Capital Region.

"We now have a total of 10 new investments by GE in Schenectady County since 2004," said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. "It's over $270 million in new investment, over 1,100 new jobs."

This latest investment came with a $170 million price tag, but also 450 jobs. They're positions that GE hopes to fill with local people.

"Either off the street or from other facilities in the region. I think that's exciting," said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt.

GE said the batteries they'll produce will first be used in cell phone towers around the world, then also in technology used in the locomotive, mining, and marine industries.

By the end of a decade, Immelt expects this to be a billion dollar business.

What does that mean for the everyday consumer?

"The cost of electricity over time is ultimately going to go down, because this battery is 40 percent less expensive than what it's replacing," said Immelt.

Currently 250 people work at the plant now, but GE expects to hire the rest by 2015. If you're interested in applying, you can contact GE.

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