KORE Power, a company developing a lithium-ion gigafactory project in the US, has closed the initial US$75 million tranche of a US$150 million fundraising round.
Siemens Financial Services led the first part of the round, which was supported by power engineering firm Quanta Services, Japanese automotive OEM Nidec Motor Corporation, investors Honeywell Ventures and Trog Hawley Capital, and an unnamed ‘leading utility scale energy storage provider’.
KORE will use the financing proceeds to start building its KOREPlex lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Phoenix, Arizona, and purchase long lead-time items. The firm completed site acquisition for the project in April as reported by Energy-Storage.news and expects to break ground on it by the end of the year.
The facility will become operational in 2024 with an initial annual production capacity of 6GWh, rising to 12GWh which, combined with a ramp-up of its China facility, will bring its total capacity to 18GWh.
KORE claims the US factory will be one of the first US battery cell gigafactories built independently of an automotive OEM, which will give it the flexibility to supply batteries to both the EV and energy storage markets.
Gigafactories in the US will benefit from tax credits of US$35/kWh for battery cell production and another US$10/kWh for battery pack production under the terms of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.
As Energy-Storage.news reported this week, Turkish firm Kontrolmatik expects these to total a cumulative US$900 million by 2032 for its gigafactory in the US, which is also set to start operating in 2024. But that gigafactory will only be a quarter the size of KORE’s eventual 12GWh, indicating a much larger benefit to the latter.
“Strengthening domestic manufacturing capabilities for battery cells will be critical to the transformation and build out of energy infrastructure in the United States,” said Andrew Schwaitzberg, leader of energy transition initiatives at Quanta Services.
Lindsay Gorrill, CEO and co-founder of KORE Power, added: “In the coming months, we expect to announce additional agreements demonstrating our commitment to building a domestic supply chain for the KOREPlex and embracing a circular lifecycle for our products.”
While KORE did not reveal the energy storage provider that participated in the fundraise, it may be worth noting that Nidec Corporation also owns Nidec ASI, which made it into IHS Markit’s top 10 energy storage system integrators ranking for 2021.
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