photo by: AP Photo
WEIRTON — On Friday, Sen. Joe Manchin. D-W.Va. and chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, joined Form Energy Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mateo Jaramillo, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, West Virginia Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael and other Form Energy and West Virginia leaders at the groundbreaking for Form Energy’s new iron-air battery manufacturing plant in Weirton, West Virginia.
Form Energy’s investment in West Virginia is a result of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), an energy security bill designed to incentivize domestic manufacturing and drive energy innovation. The IRA will help ensure that Weirton and West Virginia remain on the cutting-edge of the energy technologies of the future for years to come.
A historic steel community, Weirton is located on the Ohio River with direct access to rail, river, and highway infrastructure that will enable Form Energy to transport West Virginia made batteries across the nation. Form Energy selected Weirton as the home of its first factory after a robust, year-long, nationwide site selection process that included reviewing over 500 candidate locations across 16 states. The company ultimately chose a 55-acre site in Weirton because of the historic steel community’s strong cultural heritage and existing transportation infrastructure.
Form Factory 1 is Form Energy’s first factory in West Virginia and the company’s first high-volume battery manufacturing plant. The manufacturing facility represents a total direct investment of up to $760 million and, when operating at full capacity, will employ at least 750 workers from Weirton and the surrounding communities. Form Factory 1 is being constructed on a site that previously housed the Weirton Steel Mill.
“For generations, West Virginians have done the heavy lifting. We’ve mined the coal that forged the steel that built the tanks and ships that allowed our country to become the greatest industrial might the world has ever known. West Virginian workers and families have made the hard sacrifices to power our country to become superpower of the world and a global energy leader. With today’s groundbreaking, West Virginia is once again stepping up to the plate and building on our legacy as America’s energy powerhouse while helping ensure our nation’s energy security and independence.
“Today’s groundbreaking is a direct result of the Inflation Reduction Act, and this type of investment, in a community that has felt the impact of the downturn in American manufacturing, is an example of the IRA bill working as we intended. The people of Weirton’s unbeatable work ethic, our strong community college workforce programs, and the infrastructure already in place, along with incentives we included in the Inflation Reduction Act, have all come together to ensure that Weirton and all of West Virginia will continue to use our natural resources — coal and gas that we can produce cleaner than anywhere else in the world — as we invest in advanced energy technologies of the future. Today, we have proven that competitive investments that drive innovation, not elimination, are the keys to a thriving, energy independent nation,” said Chairman Manchin.
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