KORE Power, the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho–based maker of high-tech batteries, will break ground this fall on KOREPlex, its planned $1.25 billion gigafactory in Buckeye, Ariz., a KORE Power spokesperson confirmed to Commercial Property Executive.
The purchase of the 214-acre site, situated 40 miles from Phoenix, for $29 million was first announced last August.
At that time, KORE Power had planned to build a 1-million-square-foot plant, but the company recently changed its plans to double the facility’s size to 2 million square feet, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.
At this larger size, the factory will be able to produce 12 GWH of lithium-ion battery cells each year, KORE Power stated. In other words, the company said the facility will have the capacity to produce enough batteries to power 3.2 million homes each year.
The facility is expected to be fully operational in 2024.
Further, KOREPlex reportedly will be the world’s first net-zero gigafactory, through the use of on-site solar and eventually energy storage.
Yates Construction is the lead contractor, and SSOE Group is the architect.
Batteries, EVs and more
In recent months, the Arizona Commerce Authority has highlighted several large projects in the state that are connected to battery makers, electric vehicle manufacturers and related businesses. In April, for example, LG Energy Solution announced plans to develop a $1.4 billion battery factory in Queen Creek, Ariz., to build cylindrical batteries of a type used in EVs.
One of the unresolved issues with the proliferation of EVs has been the cost-effective recycling of their lithium-ion batteries. In May, Li-Cycle Corp. began operations at its recycling facility in Gilbert, Ariz., according to the Arizona Commerce Authority.
Last August, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Tesla started construction on a massive utility-scale lithium-ion battery storage system in Monterey County, Calif. Once operational, the facility reportedly will be one of the world’s largest utility-owned, lithium-ion energy storage systems.