Greece-Based Sunlight Batteries USA Inc., a manufacturer of lithium-ion and other high-performance batteries, will establish operations in Mebane, North Carolina. The $40 million project is expected to create 130 jobs.
The company currently operates a production facility in Greensboro with the forthcoming facility to manufacture and assemble lithium-ion batteries using robot-assisted systems, along with product storage and distribution space.
“Sunlight’s expansion in Mebane is yet another milestone in our growth plan for the U.S. market,” said Todd Sechrist, CEO of Sunlight Batteries USA. “The 134,000-square-feet facility will create over 130 new jobs in Alamance County and will serve the region by bringing lithium-ion batteries and battery charging solutions to the Americas market. We appreciate the confidence the state of North Carolina and the community has in Sunlight as a partner in the green economy and decarbonized energy.”
The project will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state's Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over 12 years, the project is estimated to grow the state's economy by $390.7 million. Using a formula that considers tax revenues generated by the 133 new jobs, the agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,224,900 spread over 12 years. Payments for all JDIGs only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after considering grant reimbursement payments to a given company.
"Demand is growing for clean energy components like batteries, and North Carolina is at the forefront of this industry of the future,” added Governor Roy Cooper. “Companies like Sunlight Batteries are bringing new jobs and new investment to Alamance County, thanks to North Carolina’s commitment to clean energy and innovation.”
Because Sunlight Batteries chose a site in Alamance County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $136,100 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities across the state finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.
"The clean energy economy offers great opportunities for all North Carolinians,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Our First in Talent strategic plan recognizes the importance of training our workers for these 21st Century jobs. Companies like Sunlight Batteries know they can depend on the strength and ingenuity of the North Carolina workforce.”
Sunlight Batteries USA is a subsidiary of the Sunlight Group, a world-leading technology company headquartered in Athens, Greece. The company develops innovative energy storage solutions focusing on developing and producing lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries for industrial applications.
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC), other key partners on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, and the Alamance Chamber.