Battery manufacturer picks Morrisville for new ‘gigafactory,’ 200+ jobs

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 Forge Battery, part of Colorado-based Forge Nano, will build a production plant it calls a “gigafactory” in Morrisville and hire more than 200 people while investing $142 million under terms of an economic development agreement reached with the North Carolina Department of Commerce on Tuesday.

The parent firm announced the launch of Forge Battery as a new company almost simultaneously with the North Carolina news. It plans a $165 million investment, according to Forge Nano.

The company says the factory will have what it calls “gigawatt hour (GWh) capacity.” According to CEVA Logistics, “1 GWh equates to 1 billion watt-hours (Wh). This is also 1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) or 1000 megawatt-hours (MWh). Suffice to say it is a very substantial quantity of energy. That is why is it is usually used to indicate the quantity of energy produced in large power stations.”

Over time, Forge Nano said the factory “is expected to create hundreds of high-paying jobs for Wake County residents.”

“The newly formed company intends to produce best-in-class high-energy and high-power lithium-ion battery cells for defense, aerospace and specialty electric vehicle markets at a newly constructed Gigafactory,” the company announced, saying it would be built in Raleigh. Production is expected to begin in 2026.

“Forge Battery plans to utilize a U.S-focused battery material supply chain to further bolster the domestic battery ecosystem and reduce reliance on foreign suppliers,” Forge Nano added.

The company will receive state and local tax incentives totaling nearly $4 million if job and investment totals are met, according to the state’s Economic Investment Committee.

According to the company, more tax credits are coming: “Forge Battery also expects to receive an additional $6,500,000 from the state of North Carolina based on its current investment projections, which include sales tax exemptions on planned capital investment.”

Some 204 jobs are to be created, paying on average more than $82,000.

The new plant is the latest in a growing list of battery-related ventures targeting electric vehicle charging and other uses, including the massive Toyota plant being build in the Triad. Forge Nano described all the related growth as creating “the Battery Belt.”

“Lithium-ion cells utilizing Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor technology have exceeded our customer’s expectations, and in turn, increased demand for the technology that outstrips the current manufacturing capabilities,” said Paul Lichty, the CEO of Forge Nano, in the announcement. “We are extremely excited to launch Forge Battery in the Battery Belt, where we intend to produce batteries for the world’s most demanding applications, while showcasing the power of Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor coating equipment in a large-scale manufacturing environment.”

Gov. Roy Cooper praised the news as an advance to the state’s clean energy sector.

“North Carolina’s growing leadership in clean energy can be seen everywhere you look, and Forge Battery’s decision continues our momentum,” said Cooper in the announcement. “New jobs, new investment, and new opportunities for our people are coming fast as we embrace this vital new sector of the global economy.”

Forge Nano closed on $50 million in new funding earlier this summer for the purpose of building a new plant.

The company said the funding will enable the company to produce “commercial-scale nanotechnology opportunities for battery material as well as develop a battery production line to satisfy full-scale, premium battery contracts.”

Its nano coating products are called “Atomic Armor.”

Forge Battery focuses on lithium-ion batteries that incorporate Atomic Armor.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire