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CONCORD, N.C. -- A North Carolina company the Obama Administration has held up as an example of the future's clean energy industries opened the doors to its newest manufacturing facility.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Gov. Beverly Perdue and other politicians on Monday visited a new lithium-ion battery facility in Concord.

The Celgard LLC factory received nearly $50 million from the Energy Department in 2009 and a visit by President Barack Obama last year. The company makes high-tech battery components, including membranes used in advanced lithium batteries for electric cars.

This morning, Governor Perdue announced the plant's opening comes with 250 new jobs. She says the facility, which makes components of lithium-ion batteries that power electric and hybrid cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius, is a way for North Carolina to stay competitive in an ever-changing electric drive vehicle field.

We get it. Sustainable energy and the green econ are no longer alternative energy sources in this country, thank God, she said. They are part of our mainstream energy mix.

Energy Secretary Chu agreed and says the new facility will supply components to car manufacturers around the world.

This is a big, important step for American manufacturing, he explained.

We should never cede high tech Mani to any other country in the world. We want advanced technologies to be invented in America, made in America, and sold around the world.

Celgard will pay its new employees an average of $38,000; above the Cabarrus County average of $33,000. The company also could collect nearly $5 million from the state if it creates about 300 jobs and keeps them for 11 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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