Two international manufacturers have announced plans to build battery plants in South Carolina, with both gaining key tax credits from the state and from  the new federal climate change law. Japan-based Envision AESC intends to build an electric vehicle battery cell plant in Florence, while Turkish firm Pomega Energy Storage would build its first U.S. plant in Colleton County to produce lithium-ion battery cells and containerized storage modules.

AESC’s $810-million plant would supply BMW’s Spartanburg, S.C., plant. In October, the automaker said it would build a $1-billion expansion of its plant for EV production, plus a $700-million battery assembly facility nearby in Woodruff.

This newly announced battery cell plant is separate from that battery assembly facility, an AESC spokesperson said.

The AESC plant would have a 30-GWh capacity and be entirely powered by net zero carbon energy, the company says.

The firm expects construction to start in mid-2023, with production in 2025, the spokesperson said. The firm could not immediately say whether a contractor had been selected for construction. 

Meanwhile, Pomega is planning to spend $279 million on a 3-GWh-capacity plant. The company makes battery energy storage systems, which can be paired with renewable energy facilities or work as standalone systems to support energy grids.

Company CEO Bahadir Yetki, also chief of its parent company Kontrolmatik Technologies, told ENR via email that he is aiming to begin construction by May or June. The firm is working with professional services company JLL, which helped it select the future plant’s site, also in project contractor selection. Completion is set for 2024.


Incentives, Talent, Transportation

For the AESC project, the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded a $135-million closing fund grant to Florence County for costs related to the project. State officials also authorized issuing up to $70 million in economic development bonds to offset costs of off-site infrastructure and a training center. The council also approved job development credits related to both AESC’s and Pomega’s projects.

“South Carolina not only offered us generous incentives but also provided us with a business friendly welcome, access to skilled talent, proximity to two major ports and other convenient transportation means along with proven training programs,” Yetki said.

Additionally, both projects tie into benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed in August. The law amends a clean energy credit for battery storage technology and adds a clean vehicle credit with a requirement for North American battery assembly.