American Battery Factory chooses Tucson, Arizona, for first LFP facility

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American Battery Factory, a new firm planning a network of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery manufacturing facilities in the US, has chosen a site in Arizona for its first.

American Battery Factory (ABF) CEO Paul Charles and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the 267-acre site in Pima County’s Aerospace Research Campus in Tucson, yesterday (6 December).

It will require US$1.2 billion in investment and ABF claimed it will be built in 18-24 months and be the largest gigafactory for LFP battery cells ‘at 2 million square feet’.

In an interview with Energy-Storage.news in March when the company was formed, Charles explained that the quick construction was possible thanks to opting for ‘tension membrane’ building structures which can be built in a matter of months.

He said at the time that would focus on the energy storage, military and selected EV markets, and that its first facility would be a 3GWh annual production facility with R&D centre and pilot line with 3-6GWh expansions to it every six to 12 months. However, he said that would only require US$500 million for the first phase so the larger investment total announced yesterday indicates it is already eyeing a larger build-out to 15GWh.

The firm’s announcement comes just a day after Energy-Storage.news revealed that the US has been growing its planned lithium-ion battery gigafactory capacity twice as fast as Europe since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed in August, according to data from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

Announcing the first factory site, Charles said: “Batteries make shifting to an entirely green energy economy possible. With this first factory, we will secure a strategically positioned company headquarters while taking the critical first steps in making it possible to one day move the country and the entire world to 100% renewable power.”

Project partners for the facility alongside the Governor include the Arizona Commerce Authority, regional economic development authority Sun Corridor Inc., Pima Community College and utility Tucson Electric Power.

“Energy storage not only drives powerful environmental benefits for our region, but economic benefits as well. TEP was a close partner on this project every step of the way, providing critical infrastructure and competitive pricing,” said Susan Gray, president & CEO, Tucson Electric Power.

The Inflation Reduction Act provides tax credits to individual consumers for the purchase of EVs which have US-made battery components as well as to battery manufacturers for the production of both cells and packs.

Manufacturers will receive US$35/kWh for battery cell production and US$10/kWh for battery pack production. Turkish company Kontrolmatik said that in the first decade of operation for its 3GWh LFP factory – a very similar profile to ABF’s – these benefits would total a cumulative US$900 million.

Benchmark forecasts a 2031 annual lithium-ion battery production capacity of 992.6GWh and 957.6GWh for North America and the US, respectively.,

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the fifth Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas, featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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