Renewables-powered gigafactory for 54 GWh of batteries planned in California

Italvolt gigafactory concept. Image by: Italvolt.

April 20 (Renewables Now) - A new company set up by Swedish entrepreneur Lars Carlstrom, the founder of electric vehicle (EV) battery makers Italvolt and Britishvolt, intends to pour USD 4 billion (EUR 3.7bn) into the construction of a renewable-powered gigafactory in California's Imperial Valley.

Dubbed Statevolt, the new entity is currently searching for sites to accommodate a lithium-ion battery facility with a production capacity of 54 GWh. The plant will be able to serve around 650,000 EVs per year when working at full capacity, Statevolt said on Tuesday.

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The newly-set up company has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to procure locally produced lithium and geothermal power from its Hell's Kitchen development at the Salton Sea in Imperial County. CTR has previously said it expects to deliver the first 50 MW of baseload renewable power from the site late in 2023 and an estimated 20,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide in 2024.

Statevolt's project is set to create one of the largest EV battery manufacturing factories in North America. The firm noted its partnership with CTR represents a new business model for lithium-ion battery developments in the US, allowing the key resources of lithium and power to be sourced locally.

“We are pioneering a new, hyper-local business model, which prioritises sustainability and resilience in the supply chain [..],” said Lars Carlstrom, Statevolt’s founder.

Meanwhile, Italvolt is currently working on a similar project for an EV battery plant in northern Italy’s Piedmont region with an annual production capacity of 45 GWh. The factory, to be engineered by ABB, is planned to open in 2024.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.925)

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