Charging up WA’s economy
In an example of public policy sparking private investment, Sila Nanotechnologies announced plans to open a hydro powered operation in Moses Lake to produce advanced lithium-ion anode battery materials for electric vehicles. Sila projected it could make enough anode material to power 100,000 to 500,000 electric cars annually, and has the potential for further expansion and investment by 15X to reach production volumes to power 2 to 10 million electric vehicles per year. Production is supposed to begin in Moses Lake in late 2024. According to Northwest News Network, “the renovation and outfitting of the factory building could benefit from a newly approved sales tax deferral and waiver for clean energy manufacturing. The Washington Legislature approved the new tax break in March after hearing testimony that such a policy would attract investment and research development.”
“Our energy independence and economic prosperity are tied to our ability to develop and manufacture new clean energy technologies here on American soil. I’m proud that Washington state has been a leader on this issue and even prouder that innovative companies like Sila come here to advance these clean energy solutions. Washington is excited that Sila is investing here and we welcome the transformative impact that building clean energy can have on our world and our state,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
Sila’s CEO Gene Berdichevsky said Sila may seek federal funding for expansion. The availability of federal funding for EV battery production got a boost last week when the Biden administration announced $3.1 billion in funding to U.S. companies that make and recycle lithium-ion batteries.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the new program will offer grants to companies that process or recycle battery components to increase domestic supplies of a market now dominated by China and other countries. “Positioning the United States front and center in meeting the growing demand for advanced batteries is how we boost our competitiveness and electrify our transportation system,” Granholm said.
Tune in to this space on Wednesday and Friday for two more “power-ful” announcements that promise to further propel Washington’s momentum toward clean energy leadership.