Electric vehicle battery material producer and recycler Redwood Materials will expand its Nevada campus with a $2-billion U.S. Energy Dept. loan.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced a conditional commitment on Feb. 9 to provide the loan to the Carson City, Nev., company from the agency's Loan Programs Office.
Redwood plans to draw pieces of the financing as it achieves milestones in the loan’s conditions to support phased construction of the expansion of its northern Nevada battery materials campus, the company says in a statement. It anticipates the work will support about 3,400 construction jobs, which Granholm says will be mostly union positions.
The company did not immediately respond to questions about its construction contracting and timeline for the project.
J.B. Straubel, Redwood CEO, who joined Granholm for the announcement, says the company began producing anode copper foil at the facility last month, and it plans to move toward cathode production later this year. The expansions would help Redwood move toward its goal of creating a “circular battery supply chain” that would boost U.S.-based production of anodes and cathodes—two of the main components in EV batteries—and reuse metal components from EV batteries to reduce their environmental impact.
“By making these materials domestically, ramping this industry right here at home, we will drive down the cost of batteries and the EVs made from them, we will reduce the CO2 emissions embedded inside those components, we will create thousands of U.S. jobs and help retain billions of dollars in the U.S. economy that would otherwise be spent overseas building these same facilities somewhere most likely in Asia,” Straubel says.
Once complete, the expanded facility would produce 100 GWh of battery-grade copper foil and cathode-active materials each year using both new and recycled feedstocks. Straubel says that would be enough battery materials for more than 1 million EVs each year.
Redwood has already reached an agreement to provide copper foil for cell production at Panasonic’s Nevada plant and cathode material for its planned Kansas plant. Work on the Kansas plant is underway, led by Greenville, S.C.-based construction manager Industrial Project Innovation. It is expected to come online in March 2025.
According to Granholm, 80 battery manufacturing or supply chain companies have announced that they are either reshoring or opening in the U.S. Nevada in particular is becoming “a hub for battery manufacturing,” she said.
“You’ve got the critical materials and minerals like lithium in Nevada,” Granholm said. “You’ve got recyclers and producers of anode, cathode like Redwood Materials. You’ve got offtakers like Tesla and Panasonic here that incorporate those materials into the battery cells. They can give Redwood back the used batteries to recycle into new materials."
In December, Redwood announced that it would build its second battery recycling plant outside Charleston, S.C.