Va. could get $100M+ lithium-ion battery project
Sen. Warner's office says N.C. also may be in running, though
A $100 million-plus lithium-ion battery project could be coming to Virginia, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Monday, but a spokesperson for U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said North Carolina could also be in contention.
MP Assets will build a facility to manufacture separators for lithium-ion batteries, bringing 282 permanent jobs and at least a $100 million investment, according to the announcement. The announcement named Virginia but did not identify where the project would be located, saying only that the project will provide the jobs for “double dispersed coal and Justice40 communities.” Justice40 refers to a goal set by President Joe Biden that 40% of certain federal investments, including in climate change, and clean energy and transit as well as other workforce, housing and pollution remediation, go to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution.”
While the energy department said the project would go to Virginia, it wasn’t immediately clear that that would be the case. Rachel Cohen, a spokesperson for Warner, said North Carolina had also been considered a potential location. Additional information about the project was not immediately available Monday and a company official could not be reached.
Lithium-ion batteries are used in a range of products, including power tools and electric vehicles. The Department of Energy award was one of seven announced Monday for former coal communities totaling $275 million, as well as the largest, and the projects are expected to be matched by $600 million in private investments. The projects are part of a Biden administration initiative to address critical energy needs while rebuilding a domestic supply chain for existing and emerging technologies.
Other projects include $50 million for Boston Metal, a company founded by MIT scientists, to build a plant in Weirton, West Virginia, to manufacture metal and alloy for clean energy industries while reskilling workers in the former coal community, as well as $20 million for a wind turbine manufacturing plant in Vernon, Texas.