General Motors broke ground Tuesday morning on a new electric motor plant in White Marsh. Scheduled to open in 2013, the Philadelphia Road addition will be the first of its kind run by a major automaker in the United States, GM officials said.
Gov. Martin O’Malley was joined by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other government officials during the groundbreaking.
“Maryland is a national leader of discovery and innovation. It is fitting that traditional manufacturers like GM would choose Maryland to embrace the new technologies that will move our economy forward and create jobs," O'Malley said in a news release.
“We are proud to be home to the GM Baltimore Transmission Plant, the first to produce these engines of the future to power the next generation of GM vehicles. This new facility will not only help preserve our resources for generations to come, but it will save and create jobs for Maryland moms and dads, allowing our state and our children to be winners in this new economy,” he said.
, the addition is the result of a $269.5 million investment. It will house the company's two-mode hybrid and heavy-duty transmission operations and is expected to create about 190 jobs.
"GM has continuously demonstrated its confidence in Baltimore County's business community and the workers in White Marsh by adding new product lines that are transforming energy use and transportation efficiency," Kamenetz said in a news release.
"This new plant means new green manufacturing jobs and represents significant investment in a sustainable future," he added.
The plant's environmental impact will be reduced by a 1.23-megawatt rooftop solar array. Built and owned by Constellation Energy, the panels are expected to generate 9 percent of the plant's annual energy consumption, saving approximately $330,000 in energy costs.
“By harnessing solar energy from this array, GM will offset up to 1,103 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air per year—equivalent to the emissions from 216 passenger vehicles,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president, Energy, Environment and Safety Policy in a news release.
The GM Foundation and Baltimore Operations also announced $20,000 in donations to the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, Maryland Food Bank and the Wildlife Habitat Council during the groundbreaking.