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Statevolt to develop 54GWh Gigafactory in Imperial Valley

-Editorial

More than a century ago, the gold rush brought thousands of people to California and reinvigorated the American economy. Fast-forward to 2022 and the “white gold” lithium rush in Imperial Valley attracted a billion-dollar investment to Imperial County. 

The news was welcomed by the Imperial County Board of Supervisors, especially by Supervisor District 4 Ryan Kelley who didn’t want to wait to have the County make an official statement promoting the good news. 

“Imperial County welcomes this announcement and is ready to have conversations with all supply-chain elements of critical mineral and battery production to continue this momentum,” added District 4 Supervisor and Vice-Chair of the Lithium Valley Commission, Ryan Kelley.

In response to anticipated growth and in an effort to take a proactive approach in the areas of power, energy, and technology due to lithium extraction and geothermal development, the Board of Supervisors approved the Lithium Valley Economic Opportunity Investment Plan earlier this year. In addition, the County is committed in continuing communications with local, state, and federal stakeholders to ensure an equitable benefit to our economy and environment.

“The County is encouraged by this major milestone for our region and believes this is another step towards fulfilling the potential of Lithium Valley for a better and brighter Imperial County,” stated Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and District 1 Supervisor, Jesus Eduardo Escobar.

Lars Carlstrom, the founder-CEO of Italvolt, has today announced the launch of a new company, Statevolt, which will construct a 54GWh Gigafactory in Imperial Valley, southern California with an expected CapEx of $4 billion. 

To launch the new facility, Statevolt has also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR).

Under the terms of the LOI, CTR will deliver sustainable, locally produced lithium and geothermal power, from the company’s to-be-constructed Hell’s Kitchen Lithium and Power development. Statevolt is currently undertaking due diligence to determine the best location in which to build its facility. Once fully operational, the Gigafactory will be one of the largest in North America, with a battery production capacity of 54GWh, serving around 650,000 electric vehicles a year at full capacity.

Led by Lars Carlstrom, the founder of Britishvolt and founder-CEO of Italvolt, Statevolt’s project team brings deep industry experience and expertise to the project, as well as an eco-system of established project development partners. 

Carlstrom, and the newly-formed Statevolt team, will harness previous learnings in Gigafactory design and engineering, to accelerate the construction process and create an industry-leading facility.

CTR’s leadership team, having constructed and managed geothermal operations in the Imperial Valley region for over 30 years, is uniquely positioned to provide Statevolt with strong regional experience and technical knowledge to optimize Statevolt’s commitment to delivering the highest standards of sustainability.

Statevolt’s planned partnership with CTR brings a new, ‘hyper-local’ sustainable business model for lithium-ion battery development in the U.S. The arrangement is one of the first of its kind in the world and will see the business source its key feedstock, lithium, and its power from local resources, to minimize the environmental impact of production and build a more sustainable and secure supply chain. Simultaneously it will help facilitate the development of a micro-industry in the area, delivering up to 2,500 direct jobs for Imperial Valley and the region.

The LOI between Statevolt and CTR is built on the two companies’ shared commitment to support the energy transition in California and the U.S. Global Lithium demand for EVs and storage is forecast to reach 383 kilotons by 2030.

Following the Biden Administration’s target to ensure that half of the automotive sales are EVs by 2030, the rapid development of batteries and supply chain resilience is crucial to meet consumer demand, in the near-to-medium term.

Lars Carlstrom, the founder, of Statevolt, said: “The development of lithium-ion batteries is crucial for the U.S. to meet its goals to transition to Net-Zero. Statevolt is proud to begin its journey to develop U.S. expertise and production of lithium-ion batteries, as we look to serve this critical market.

“Today, we face a significant shortage in the amount of lithium that is required to meet the demand for electric vehicles. We are pioneering a new, hyper-local business model, which prioritizes sustainability and resilience in the supply chain to solve this issue. More importantly, we believe this model will offer Statevolt a significant advantage in producing lithium-ion batteries at scale, to meet booming consumer demand and create good-paying, highly skilled jobs.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with CTR and its industry-leading, and highly-specialized approach to sustainable lithium production and development. Together, through the construction and development of Statevolt, we will support the nation’s energy transition while retaining a keen focus on low-cost, sustainable battery manufacture.

Rod Colwell, CEO of Controlled Thermal Resources, said: “CTR is delighted to further our relationship with Statevolt. We applaud Lars and his team for taking a proactive approach to ensure the company’s future lithium supply, while also consciously seeking out the cleanest lithium and power available for Statevolt’s first U.S. Gigafactory.”

“The extraordinary growth in electric vehicle adoption and the emerging demand for energy storage systems to provide clean power highlights the urgent need to develop a strong and secure battery supply chain in the United States. CTR continues to develop its significant resource in response to this unprecedented demand, and we look forward to collaborating with Statevolt as we accelerate these efforts.”

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