West Virginia political leaders joined industrial and renewable energy firms late last week to celebrate groundbreaking on a future $500 million manufacturing site that will be powered by a solar microgrid.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s BHE Renewables, Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC) and its subsidiary Titanium Metals Corp. joined state officials for the ceremony on 2,000 acres in Jackson County. The metals firm will be the first company to locate in an industrial park, operating a titanium melt facility.
BHS Renewables is purchasing the land, home to a former aluminum plant, from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority. The titanium melt plant, which will make products for the aerospace and other industries, will utilize power generated from solar panels and battery storage systems.
“We’re proud to deliver this new sustainable energy solution for PCC, their customers and the people of Jackson County,” said BHE Renewables President and CEO Alicia Knapp. “Thanks to the collaboration with local, state and federal leaders, and our partnership with PCC and ONE, we are demonstrating how renewable energy can be a catalyst for economic growth and bring new manufacturing jobs to West Virginia, which is truly a great place to do business.”
The industrial plant will employ about 200 people, according to reports.
BHE Renewables has selected ONE – Our Next Energy, Inc. – as its partner for large-scale battery storage. ONE also announced it would make an additional $22 million investment in the site and build a new Aries Grid factory.
The Aries Grid, expected to open by 2025, would manufacture utility-scale battery storage systems using Michigan-made lithium iron phosphate battery cells. This factor could generate another 105 jobs.
“This Jackson County project represents a historic transition to renewable energy-based manufacturing in the U.S. and establishes a standard for others to follow,” said Mujeeb Ijaz, CEO and Founder of ONE. “Building upon BHE Renewables’ commitment to this site and the State of West Virginia, ONE’s first Aries Grid factory will bring even more jobs and investment to this area to help clear a path to a carbon-free manufacturing future.”