Lithium-ion battery developer KORE Power Inc. will supplement the cost of a $1.25-billion advanced EV battery manufacturing plant underway in Buckeye, Ariz., with an $850-million conditional U.S. Energy Dept. loan, the agency said in June. 

The Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, company says its 1.3-million-sq-ft complex, to be powered by a solar farm on the 214-acre site, will produce heavy-duty battery cells for trucks and other large equipment and energy storage. The facility is the first of its kind to be built in the U.S. using domestic intellectual property. KORE, which manufactures cells in China, will build its first U.S. plant in what the Biden Administration considers an environmental justice community, said DOE.

SSOE Group is providing architecture and engineering services, with W.G. Yates as contractor. Siemens Financial Services is a $75-million project investor. Also investing is contractor Quanta Services, says Kore, but a spokeswoman did not disclose the investment amount or if it has a role in project construction. 

Civil work began last year, with initial production expected in late 2024 or early 2025 of about 60 million battery cells providing 6 GWh of storage capacity annually. KORE has supply agreements with specialty vehicle makers Kindred Motorworks and Zero EVs. Its spokeswoman said the firm “will be announcing additional agreements in e-mobility and EV charging to help prepare the grid for increased EV adoption.” The plant is set to create nearly 2,000 construction and operations jobs.

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Three Offshore Wind Projects Progress in Federal Reviews

The U.S. Interior Dept. in late June gave final approval to construction and operation of the 1.1-GW Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind energy project, planned off the New Jersey coast—the third such commercial-scale project to gain the federal okay. Developer Orsted will build up to 98 wind turbines and three offshore substations for Ocean Wind 1. 

Interior also will start review of two Beacon Wind projects being developed offshore of Montauk, N.Y., to supply the state. Their 155 turbines would generate 2.4 GW of power. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on July 6 signed a narrowly passed bill that amends state law to allow Orsted to keep federal tax credits enacted in 2022 that would apply to Ocean Wind 1 and the planned Ocean Wind 2 projects. The firm says inflation and supply chain impacts have disrupted project economics and boosted completion risk.

Equinor-BP also is petitioning New York regulators to amend its power offtake contract for the same reasons, and developers of another planned New Jersey project, Atlantic Shores 1, call for “an industry-wide solution that stabilizes all current projects.”



Largest Solar Plant in Illinois

McCarthy Building Cos. won the EPC contract for Swift Current Energy’s estimated $535-million Double Black Diamond solar farm in central Illinois, to be the state's largest when finished in late 2024. Solas Energy is owner’s engineer, and Nextracker is providing solar tracking to hike production by at least 25%. The project will provide 800 MW of DC power or 592 MW of AC power, Swift said. Chicago has contracted for about half of the project's power output.


Salt River Project

Arizona Okays Pared-down 575-MW Plan for Utility Gas Plant Addition

Salt River Project

Photo: Salt River Project

Minimum U.S. capital investment for public and private charging infrastructure needed by 2030, with maximum of up to $127 billion, not including grid upgrades

- NREL/U.S. Energy Dept.

Arizona regulators approved in June a pared-down plan to expand the Salt River Project Coolidge natural gas power plant in Randolph after a new court settlement with community opponents. It cuts the expansion to 575 MW costing $775 million, from an original 820-MW project set to cost at least $830 million. The revised expansion of the current 575-MW plant follows a new settlement that was just reached between the Phoenix-area utility and residents over added air emissions. Their 2022 legal challenge prompted regulators to reject the expansion, halting all work. The EPC contract for the 820-MW expansion was awarded to WSP and TIC – The Industrial Co., which built the plant in 2011. The plant also plans to add 3,125 MW of clean energy and battery storage by 2025, it said.