Workers broke ground yesterday on an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Midland, Michigan, BrighterEnergy.org reports. Dow Kokam, a partnership between the Dow Chemical Company and TK Advanced Battery, will operate the 800,000-square-foot facility.
"We're making history today for Michigan and for the adoption of alternative energy by the automotive industry," said Dow Kokam CEO Ravi Shanker. "In just nine short months, Dow Kokam has moved from formation to construction of a manufacturing facility to meet the needs of the next generation of the auto industry."
Construction will be completed in two phases, which are supported by federal grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The first phase of $322 million building will receive $161 million in federal support. Vice President Joe Biden and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm were both on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking.
The project will create 320 jobs in its first phase, and ultimately 800 positions by 2015. Operations will begin in 2012.