President Obama Awards $2.3B for Tax Credits for New Clean-Tech Manufacturing Jobs; GE Gets Largest Battery-related Award
President Obama announced the award of $2.3 billion in Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy manufacturing projects across the United States. The 183 projects in 43 states include several for the manufacturing of advanced batteries; biomass projects; and vehicles. The projects were competitively selected through a merit review process.
GE claimed the largest of the battery-related awards, with a $25.5 million tax credit to refurbish a pre-existing GE manufacturing facility in Schenectady, New York to produce sodium metal halide batteries for various markets, including electricity grid support and regulation services to help support renewable energy penetration levels, enable remote power systems based on renewable energy sources, and help increase efficiency by reduced peak power demands.
GE has already invested more than $150 million in developing battery technologies, and the tax credit will supplement GE’s investments in the new product line that will serve the rail, marine, mining, telecommunications and utility sectors.
Scheduled to be fully operational by mid-2011, the facility will be in close proximity to GE Global Research in Niskayuna, where advances to the battery chemistry were developed. The batteries will rely heavily on new materials, new manufacturing technologies and intelligent controls.
At full capacity the plant could produce approximately 10 million cells capable of generating 900 megawatt-hours of energy per year—the equivalent of the battery power required for 45,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with an 80-mile range or enough energy to support 1,000 GE Evolution Series hybrid locomotives.
Other battery awards were:
|Aerovironment, Inc||Aeroenvironment plans to manufacture a Mobile Charger that combines a battery pack with a Level 3 DC connector. It is designed for on-road service trucks to provide a quick charge to stranded battery electric vehicles similar to an “out-of-gas” situation.||$310,800|
|Aerovironment, Inc||Aeroenvironment plans to purchase equipment for manufacturing 25 kWh LiTiO advanced battery packs and battery management systems.||$369,600|
|Porocel Industries, LLC||Porocel Industries, LLC will construct and operate a plant for drying, grinding, calcining, and packaging process steps for the production of intermediate material used in the production of Conoco Phillips’ CPreme Anode. The result will aid in competitive domestic battery manufacturing capability.||$2,880,000|
|Rogers Foam Automotive Corporation||Rogers Foam Automotive Corporation will manufacture a component to be used in the thermal management system of Lithium-ion battery assemblies for electrical vehicles. This sub-component consists of an outer gasket, which locates the component in the assembly, a multi-layer pressure conformable membrane,which provides the constant pressure and a bonding agent, which attaches the outer gasket and membrane. The resulting product will aid domestic battery manufacturing for electric vehicles.||$300,000|
Biomass. In the biomass sector, Novozymes Blair, Inc. was awarded a $28,401,000 credit to support the installation of equipment at a new manufacturing facility to produce biocatalysts (enzymes) used in manufacturing cellulosic ethanol from corn stover by the biochemical platform (biomass pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, distillation). These biocatalysts will aid the production of biofuels as a renewable energy source.
RE-Gen LLC will receive a $903,480 credit to support building a factory to produce Biomass Gasification Furnaces with a capacity of 250 systems/year.
Vehicles. Among the vehicle credits, Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC requested a $150-million tax credit for its plant in the area, and Think North America will receive a $16,970,145 credit to support the establishment of a US manufacturing operation/facility (a vehicle assembly operation as well as facilities for fabricating vehicle components) for the Think City light-weight EV-dedicated vehicle for sale throughout North America.
To foster investment and job creation in clean energy manufacturing, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included a tax credit for investments in manufacturing facilities for clean energy technologies (the Section 48C program). Because the 48C program generated far more interest than anticipated, DOE and Treasury have a substantial backlog of technically acceptable applications.
Instead of turning down worthy applicants who are willing to invest private resources to build and equip factories that manufacture clean energy products in America, the Administration has called on Congress to provide an additional $5 billion to expand the program.