EnerBlu Plans Major Expansion in Two Eastern Kentucky Cities
The company will construct a 1 million-square-foot, high-tech facility in Pikeville to manufacture lithium-titanate batteries, called EnerBlu Advanced Energy Storage Units. The batteries will power transit busses, commercial trucks, military vehicles and other equipment. Construction is scheduled to start in mid-2018 and the facility’s opening is planned for 2020.
Additionally, the company will relocate its headquarters from Riverside, California to a 150,000-square-foot building in Lexington, where it will create 110 administrative, research-and-development and executive positions. The office is expected to open early next year.
The LTO is a rechargeable battery with the advantage of a faster charge than other lithium-ion batteries and provides high currents when necessary, state officials said. Currently, more than 70 percent of the world’s LTO production is located in China. The Pikeville facility will be the first LTO factory in the US.
In selecting Kentucky, EnterBlu leaders noted the state’s logistical advantage of being within a day’s drive of 65 percent of the US population, the availability of a trained workforce in Eastern Kentucky and low costs for industrial power contributed to their decision.
“Creating a team that is building something meaningful that can benefit both the local and global community is not only exciting, but very meaningful to us,” said Michael Weber, Executive Chairman at EnerBlu. “You cannot imagine how thrilling it is to play a part in helping revitalize a region and put coal miners back to work through retraining and good jobs. It is tremendously gratifying to be more than just a company that sells products, but to also make an impact on people’s lives.”
“The Commonwealth of Kentucky provides an innovative company like EnerBlu with the resources and support necessary for success,” added Daniel Elliott, EnerBlu President & CEO. “It has a highly skilled workforce with strong understanding of direct current (DC) power, complex machinery and robotics’ operations in production environments. We appreciate the exceptional support we have been given by state government leaders and look forward to creating good-paying jobs for the state.”
“We are excited that EnerBlu has chosen Kentucky as home for its headquarters, research and development facility, and for the first Lithium Titanate battery facility in the United States,” Governor Matt Bevin said. “EnerBlu will help power our nation’s transportation and defense industries, while providing job opportunities that will harness the highly skilled workforce of Eastern Kentucky. We are grateful to EnerBlu for locating this incredible project in our state, and congratulate the communities of Pikeville and Lexington for the opportunities this new corporate partnership will create. This project will have a positive impact on Eastern Kentucky and the commonwealth as a whole for many years to come.”
EnerBlu, established in 2015 through a collaboration between BRAC Global Automotive and Symblu, is an energy-storage provider focused on electric transportation, PV hybrid microgrid, power grid and genset hybridization.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $27.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program for the Pikeville project and up to $2.5 million for the Lexington location. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. In addition, EnerBlu can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.
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