From Sunlen Miller
President Obama will travel to Holland, Michigan, today for the groundbreaking of the new Compact Power plant – an advanced battery plant that will open as a result of Recovery Act advanced battery and electric vehicle award.
Compact Power plant is the ninth of nine new advanced battery plants created with Recovery Act money and will manufacture batteries to support 52,000 Chevy Volts a year and will also supply batteries for the new electric Ford Focus. The company was awarded a Recovery Act grant of $151 million last August and estimates it will employ 70 in construction jobs immediately after the groundbreaking. This will rise to 200 by September and 300 at the peak of construction. The factory will hire more than 300 full-time Michigan workers when at scale.
In advance of the visit, the Department of Energy has released a new report on the economic impact of Recovery Act investments in advanced batteries and vehicles.
The report shows that before the Recovery Act, there were no domestic factories doing high-volume manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles, and the White House touts that now due to Recovery Act investments, the U.S. will have the capacity to produce up to 40 percent of the world’s batteries by 2015.
“What we’re essentially doing is creating a new industry here in this country,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said, “and that’s real progress.”
Mr. Obama will return to Washington, DC, in the early evening.