KORE Power Inc. says it will build a 1-million-sq-ft lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility on a 214-acre site in Buckeye, Ariz.—40 miles west of downtown Phoenix and just south of Interstate 10.
Adding to the list of electric vehicle and battery facilities being built in or planned for Arizona, the KOREPlex facility will be the first domestic battery plant owned by a U.S.-based company and is expected to provide 3,400 jobs at peak construction.
The schedule calls for construction to start by the end of the year, with battery production beginning in the second quarter of 2023.
“We understand this is an aggressive timeline, but we are committed to getting this done,” says Lindsay Gorrill, co-founder and CEO of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based KORE Power.
When the building is operational, KORE Power plans to employ more than 3,000 full-time personnel, which will generate as many as 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, the company says.
The Buckeye facility will support up to 12 GWh of battery cell production –– enough capacity to produce power for 3.2 million homes annually.
“We will help ensure a reliable and independent U.S. supply chain for lithium-ion battery cells, which are critical to the future of electric vehicles, power grids and more,” Gorrill says.
Arizona, and Buckeye in particular, provided the company with four major benefits that other locations could not.
“First, the EV and clean-energy sectors in the area offer us a strong client base. Second, the Phoenix area has a booming tech community that embraces innovation,” Gorrill says. “Third, Arizona has a strong workforce and local colleges and universities educating the sustainability leaders of tomorrow. And, finally, the warm, dry desert climate is ideal for battery manufacturing.”
Founded in 2018, KORE Power develops battery cell technology for the clean energy industry, serving global energy storage, e-mobility, utility, industrial and mission-critical markets.
Products include cells made of NMC (nickel, manganese and cobalt), LFP (lithium-ion phosphate), and VDA-standard modules and packs, optimized by the company’s proprietary battery management system.
Through its global partnerships, KORE designs and manufactures top-tier energy storage systems as well.
In Buckeye, KOREPlex will be producing the company’s flagship Mark 1, built for commercial and industrial and grid-scale applications, including replacing fossil fuel peaker plants, wind and solar plus storage projects, microgrid optimization and behind-the-meter commercial and industrial (C&I).
“Our additional manufacturing lines will be producing cells that we see in high market demand,” Gorrill says. These include two other company products: The K¹55 NMC Cell and the K²20 LFP Cell. The first is a high-energy density NMC Pouch Cell Technology for e-mobility and energy storage solutions in utilities, microgrids, C&I and charging stations. The second is a high-performing LFP Pouch Cell Technology offering optimal performance in electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrid applications.
Gorrill explains that KORE Power is meeting with architects and contractors and expects to select its project team members shortly. One option for design is pursuing LEED certification. “We are fully committed to our promise that the KOREPlex will operate with net-zero carbon emissions through strategic partnerships and co-generation,” he says. “We do not have the full design of the KOREPlex yet, but based on what we are trying to do, we will be the first cell manufacturer with net-carbon emissions.”