Q&A with American lithium battery maker KORE Power

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United States A Renaissance in Solar Panel Manufacturing Thanks to the manufacturing tax credit included in Inflation control law, the domestic battery manufacturing industry should see a similar boost. Battery cells, modules/packs, and electrode materials all receive some kind of credit when manufactured domestically.

So far, major lithium battery makers, mostly in the EV space, have announced new multi-gigawatt plants in the US. Panasonic 30 GWh facility in Kansas The company will mainly supply Tesla vehicles, and LG Energy Solutions is working with Honda to 40 GWh EV battery plant in OhioThe country still lacks significant production for the stationary energy storage market. While there are a few domestic manufacturers producing small scale lead- or lithium-based systems primarily for off-grid situations, so far the major companies have stepped up to provide the necessary support for green grids. There are very few.

KORE Power of Idaho is one of the first. The storage company was scheduled to break ground in December 2022 at a 12 GWh lithium battery plant in Buckeye, Arizona. The factory will supply battery cells for both EVs and energy storage systems. KORE Secures U.S. Supply of Graphite Anode Materials (From Novonix in Tennessee) will be used for both US-made NMC and LFP battery cells from 2024.

KORE Power President Jay Bellows (right) and Sales and Development Vice President Gregg Nobel are at KORE Solutions’ Network Operations Center.

Founded in 2018, KORE Power owns US intellectual property but now manufactures batteries through a Chinese contract manufacturer. Before the IRA passed, KORE was already looking at setting up domestic manufacturing to bring everything inside the US. KORE will acquire Northern Reliability, a 50-year veteran in the energy storage commissioning field, in early 2022, launching its own stationary energy storage installation division before not only manufacturing products, aims to be the only vertically integrated energy storage company in We also offer ESS installation services.

solar power world spoke with Jay Bellows, President of KORE Power, about the company’s move to US manufacturing and its prospects for the domestic market. This interview has been edited for clarity.

KORE Power was founded in 2018 as a “storage technology developer”. How would you describe your current company?

KORE Power is a manufacturer of both NMC and LFP battery cells and modules. This is rather unusual. Many customers want just the battery, while others want just the cells in their own packet for EVs. We also have a Solutions Group and offer complete systems through KORE Solutions. [Northern Reliability] has been building energy storage solutions for over 50 years and is perhaps the most experienced in the industry. With KORE Power, you finally have a vertically integrated solution, from soup to nuts, with arguably more market knowledge and experience than anyone else in this space.

Why was it important for KORE to establish battery manufacturing in the US even before the IRA passed?

Frankly, there was no one else. And with all these jobs being lost in the fossil fuel industry, it would be great if we could fill it with more renewable thinking. is. Bringing home everything we can is a big goal for us, and we try to do the same with our supply chain.

Second, the US ESS and EV markets are growing exponentially. For logistics and everything else, sourcing as locally as possible is a big deal. Including shipping and tariffs can be price sensitive and constraining for the industry. Bringing it here will help the industry grow significantly.

Here in America, we’re trying to electrify the world, but it’s hard to do without storage. As we expand our renewable footprint such as solar, wind and hydropower, we need a way to store that energy. It’s the perfect time to build an energy store.

Why does KORE manufacture both NMC and LFP chemistries? Is it important to establish manufacturing methods?

It’s been a while since NMC. This is he one of the oldest Lithium products. And while LFP turned out to be the safer product, NMC is also very safe at this point. If KORE does both, it matters what the final solution is. Many automakers build chassis based on different chemistries, so the goal is to be able to offer both.

i wouldn’t say [manufacturing NMC vs. LFP] are very different, but different enough that each line should be dedicated. The NMC line is bigger than his LFP line.

How will the KOREPlex factory in Arizona be established?

KOREPlex rendering

It is currently in Phase 1 of the build and will be completed by the end of 2024. There are two of his lines, NMC and LFP. Just over 3 GWh per chemical for a total of 6 GWh. Phase 2 will either clone Phase 1 directly to 12 GWh or just run an LFP for the ESS market and you’ll get 3 lines of his LFP.

How will the Storage ITC and other install incentives change the US storage market?

Storage already makes economic sense. We already had a 5 to 7 year return on investment. But now, IRAs are already economically viable and recognized as a key cog in bringing renewable energy to life. [to the grid], it is supercharged. This brings an entirely different level of customers to energy storage companies. Initially, the large customers were utilities and perhaps some C&I. Now it brings energy to all developers. They get the same tax credits on top of everything else. 30% ITC, domestic product adder, brownfield adder. What if five years he was an investor in a product with ROI and now he’s getting a 50% tax credit?This is perfect timing for where the market was headed.

What would it take to make the US an energy storage manufacturing powerhouse?

If America wants to be a leader, it must focus on consuming American products. Most of our batteries come from Asia so that may not be popular. I think we are getting there. The IRA is a good step in that direction — his 10% kicker on domestic goods. We need to be committed to that, and that applies to both manufacturing and consuming.

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