Form Energy plans $760m battery factory in West Virginia

A former steel mill in Weirton, West Virginia (Maxironwas/Dreamstime)
America’s Form Energy has announced a $760m iron-air battery plant on a 55-acre plot in West Virginia’s northern panhandle.

The factory will be built along the Ohio River in the city of Weirton. When complete, it will create 750 full-time jobs.

The project, Form Energy’s first, has been allocated $75m by the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, to be used to purchase land. An additional $215m is to be raised by state and federal authorities, which will finalise the development.

The economic assistance helped West Virginia to clinch the investment against competition from 15 other states.

Jim Justice, West Virginia’s governor, said: “At one point, Weirton was one of America’s most important steel towns – a national leader in steel production. Now, this historic city is looking toward the future, and it’s very bright with Form Energy opening its doors. We structured a unique financial incentive package worth up to $290m in asset-based, performance financing to support their decision to locate in Weirton.”

Roger Hanshaw, Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, said: “Not only will this facility and this investment truly change the Northern Panhandle as we’ve known it for the past generation, but it also will build on the state’s prominent role of powering the nation as we lead the way in bringing affordable, reliable, renewable energy to the marketplace.”

Construction on the project is due to begin in 2023, with manufacturing set to start in 2024.

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