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Could Southern Arizona become battery manufacturing capital?

Southern Arizona is establishing itself as the battery capital of the United States, with battery manufacturers continuing to choose the region as their base of operations. Through incentives, the City of Tucson attracts manufacturers to drive economic growth and supply clean energy to the city.

Dive deeper: American Battery Factory Brings $1.2 Billion Equipment and 300 High-Paying Jobs to Tucson

both Shion Power Co., Ltd. and American Battery Factory announced they will be making a major move in southern Arizona in late 2022 with the support of the City of Tucson Elementary Employment Incentive. The incentive reimburses up to 100% of the construction sales tax on eligible expenses, such as necessary public infrastructure improvements, offsetting any impact on rates. and vocational training.

make history

On December 6, 2022, American Battery Factory announced that it has selected Tucson as its official headquarters and home to its first battery cell Gigafactory. The 2-million-square-foot site on 267 acres in Pima County’s prestigious aerospace research campus will be the largest lithium iron phosphate (LFP) mega-plant in the United States.

The American Battery Factory had the criteria for a successful Gigafactory site, and Tucson met that need with clean, large-scale available energy. A skilled workforce and quality educational institutions. According to Sun Corridor Inc. CEO and President Joe Snell, available land and supply chain materials include:

The site will deliver $1.2 billion in capital expenditures and $3.1 billion in economic impact, facilitating the growth of a clean energy economy across the country. The first phase of opening will create 300 high-paying jobs, increasing the cumulative total to up to 1,000, according to Barbra Coffee, director of economic initiatives in Tucson.

Positions include operations, production, science and technology positions, automation and robotics positions, as well as executive and corporate positions. “As we grow from his 300 jobs in Phase 1 to his 1,000 jobs, there will be a lot of investment in physical infrastructure,” Coffee says.

Battery manufacturing promotes clean energy

In 2020, the City of Tucson declared a “climate emergency,” pledging the city to become carbon neutral by 2030. Since then, the City of Tucson has developed strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change and has integrated its businesses in alignment with the city’s mission. .

“We have focused on renewable industries as one of the target industries of our comprehensive economic development strategy, attracting companies that will help us grow and develop to create a sustainable future,” said Coffee. says.

American Battery Factory’s LFP battery cell chemistry allows for the production of the safest, longest-lasting, and most environmentally friendly batteries available today. The company’s materials are more ethically sourced and will last more than twice his average performance of other batteries.

“This prestigious American Battery Factory project will bring Tucson to national attention and ensure the region is a key part of the energy storage and EV manufacturing supply chain being developed here. ABF’s significant advances will position Tucson as a leading edge leader in new EV technology and energy storage efficiency improvements,” said Snell.

stay at home

On December 7, 2022, local Tucson company Sion Power Corporation, a technology developer for next-generation electric vehicles (EVs), announced plans to expand its battery manufacturing operations in Tucson.

The overall economic impact of Zion’s expansion will be $341 million over the next five years. The 111,400-square-foot expansion is expected to be completed by 2026 and create more than 150 jobs. Jobs include engineering, skilled technicians and other manufacturing-related jobs, Coffee said.

Zion expanded its business and remained in Tucson because of the city’s rich history and skilled Tucson workforce. “We are excited that this expansion includes innovative next-generation technology that will provide highly skilled jobs to our community,” said Snell.

The American Battery Factory and Sion Power projects not only bring in billions of dollars in economic impact, but also demonstrate the importance of corporate operations to the community.

“Companies with headquarters are more deeply embedded in the community structure of their location, making them more likely to buy goods and services locally, among many other positive ramifications and impacts,” Snell said. say.

Powered by a skilled workforce by education

Incentives, land availability, and a dry climate helped attract the American Battery Factory to Tucson, allowing for the expansion of Zion Power, but Tucson’s available skilled workforce meant that Tucson’s It has become a standout city for two developers.

Tucson’s skilled workforce, with Pima Community College and the University of Arizona in the city, recognizes the city’s focus on higher education to drive economic growth.

Pima Community College has developed the school’s Center of Excellence to provide high tech training and reskilling to its employees. The Center of Excellence will be built on listening to the needs of industry partnerships to drive economic growth in the region, said Ian Rourke, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development and Innovation at Pima Community College. It is said that it was done.

“Our approach to workforce development is that it is our role as a community university to meet the workforce development needs of local employers,” says Rourke.

PCC’s Applied Technology Center of Excellence caught the attention of the American Battery Factory. Opening this spring, the center’s advanced manufacturing building will span 100,000 square feet over three floors and include makerspaces, advanced manufacturing incubators and flexible industry training (FIT) labs. All of these spaces are designed for innovation and manufacturing to thrive, according to Roark.

“We not only teach our students how to become workers in these programs and industries, but we also see ourselves as forward-thinking manufacturing entrepreneurs, creating the next generation of innovation and technology in this field. “We wanted to introduce a program like this so we could have a space to keep the business growing in our community,” concludes Roark.

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