KORE Power's battery plant in Buckeye expands – Phoenix Business Journal – Phoenix Business Journal

Shortly after closing on 214 acres in Buckeye, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based KORE Power has unveiled plans to double the size of its factory and significantly increase its investment in the plant.
The facility will now total 2 million square feet and cost an overall $1.25 billion to build, the company said at the end of May.
KORE initially planned to break ground early this year on a $1 billion, 1 million-square-foot lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant but said it has now pushed the construction start date to an unknown date later this year.
The project will start operations in 2024 as opposed to 2023, while the hiring process will also “ramp up” in the third quarter of 2023, according to the city of Buckeye. KORE also said it will support its facility, dubbed KOREPlex, with a U.S.-based supply chain.
In July 2021, city of Buckeye records said that the estimated average annual salary was $46,000. The company said in May that it still plans to hire about 3,000 overtime. KORE has also brought on seven team members who have relocated or will be relocating to Buckeye.
At the end of May, KORE Power held three meetings at the Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce and the city of Buckeye’s Coyote Branch Library to provide updates about the project. City staff, officials and residents attended the meetings to ask about traffic and environmental impacts such as water use by the facility, the city said.
The massive plant, which was named one of the largest industrial construction projects in the nation, will go up at the southeast corner of State Route 85 and Baseline Road a couple miles west of historic downtown Buckeye in an Opportunity Zone.
As of last year, KORE Power had estimated it would use 2.4 million gallons of water and 600,000 gallons of wastewater per month and 118,000 kilowatt-hours by the third year of production for a 850,000-square-foot facility.
The Arizona Republic previously reported that the facility’s water use is relatively low for an industry and equivalent to 330 single-family homes. KORE Power said in May that its goal is for the KOREPlex to be the world’s first net-zero gigafactory by using on-site solar and then adding co-generation capacity in the future through energy storage.
The company initially started looking for a site for its first U.S. lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in 2018 and had eventually narrowed down its selection to Texas, Florida and the Glendale and Buckeye areas in Arizona.
The Arizona Commerce Authority had worked with the company since it first started looking for a site and communicated with KORE’s leadership about Arizona’s potential and why the company should choose the Grand Canyon State leading to the company’s decision to build in Arizona, according to ACA documents obtained by the Business Journal.
The ACA highlighted the state’s workforce, higher education programs, population and growing electric vehicle and manufacturing industries and said it would facilitate a call with the ACA’s president, Sandra Watson, and Gov. Doug Ducey. It also said the ACA would offer any and all state incentive programs to KORE when the company scales.
KORE CEO Lindsay Gorrill spoke with Ducey in December 2020, which the ACA said “went very well from both perspectives.” The ACA also said it believed Arizona demonstrated a “can do attitude, a culture of support, abundant resources and the ability to connect the company with front end supply chain solutions.”
“I don’t think any other state has demonstrated the level of support to date,” the ACA said in an email to KORE Power in January 2021 that was obtained by the Business Journal. “Arizona is at the center of U.S. electric grid solar deployment and storage, is a destination state, is not vulnerable to catastrophic weather events, and has stable and pro-business political climate.”
The company’s executives visited Arizona to meet with state officials and tour sites as Nikola Corp.’s and Arizona State University’s research and development facilities in May of 2021. By June 25, 2021, KORE Power sent a formal letter to the ACA that said it had selected Arizona for its U.S. manufacturing facility but was still deciding which site within the Phoenix metro.
“The pro-business environment, skilled workforce, location, quality of life, and additional factors led us to this decision. Included in that decision is the incentive letter and the commitment that Arizona has made to KORE as well as the strong relationship we have developed with you,” the company said in the letter obtained by the Business Journal. It also asked the ACA if it could secure participation of local, state and federal representation for its announcement to build in Arizona.
The company is eligible for $65 million in incentives from the state through the Arizona Competes Fund and qualified facility tax credit.
On the other side of the Valley, LG Energy Solution is planning to build a large battery-manufacturing facility in Queen Creek to support domestic manufacturing in the U.S. and as Arizona’s electric vehicle sector continues to grow.
Join us as we honor Phoenix’s 40 Under 40 Honorees at this energetic virtual awards program!
Nominate your fastest-growing privately held company for our Top Private and Fastest Growing awards below!
© 2022 American City Business Journals. All rights reserved. Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated January 1, 2021) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated July 1, 2022). The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of American City Business Journals.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *