WEIRTON, WV—Form Energy Inc., a start-up dedicated to developing long-lasting batteries for electric utilities, will build its first assembly plant here. The factory is expected to create at least 750 jobs and will represent a total investment of up to $760 million.
The electric grid faces a challenge: how to manage the day-to-day variability of renewable energy sources without sacrificing reliability or cost. Form Energy’s new iron-air battery technology promises to solve that problem. It can store electricity for 100 hours at costs competitive with legacy power plants. The company’s multi-day battery could help the nation’s electric system run reliably on 100 percent low-cost renewable energy every day of the year.
Form Energy uses iron, water and air as key components to produce batteries at less cost and with longer storage duration than those made from lithium.
“After a year-long nationwide site selection process that started with identifying over 500 candidate locations across 16 states, it became abundantly clear that Weirton…is the ideal location for our first commercial battery production factory,” says Mateo Jaramillo, co-founder and CEO of Form Energy.
West Virginia provided an incentive package worth up to $290 million in asset-based, performance financing to support the company’s decision to locate in Weirton at the site of a former steel mill.Form Energy expects to start construction of its Weirton factory in 2023 and begin manufacturing iron-air battery systems in 2024 for broad commercialization.