The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NAATBatt) has selected a 1,551-acre site in Hardin County on which to build a proposed manufacturing facility for lithium-ion battery cells capable of powering the next generation of hybrid and plug-in cars.
NAATBatt is a not-for-profit industry consortium of more than 50 corporations, associations and research institutions that focuses on the production of advanced lithium-ion battery cells for transportation applications. Lithium-ion batteries have a higher energy density than other batteries, holding nearly twice as much energy per pound as the nickel-metal-hydride batteries used in current hybrids.
The Hardin County project, which would be the first of its kind in the nation, is dependent upon securing funding through the federal government, which has set aside $2 billion for electric drive vehicle battery and component manufacturing projects. Kentucky has offered a $200 million package toward the project that would include land, infrastructure, construction and training. However, Michigan is also vying for the federal monies, which has pushed Kentucky officials to look for ways to provide additional incentives in order to secure the federal funds. Still, Gov. Steve Beshear has said he doesn’t expect other states’ actions to hurt Kentucky’s plans.
If successful in securing federal funding, NAATBatt would establish a 1 million-s.f. manufacturing campus in Glendale that would consist of a headquarters facility, a manufacturing facility used to refine products and production processes, and a larger operation designed for mass battery manufacturing. A decision on the federal funding is expected to be made this summer. If Kentucky is selected, construction on the new facility could begin immediately.
The operations could create as many as 2,000 new full-time jobs with an average annual wage of more than $40,000.