Gov. Inslee touts green energy at new Moses Lake battery factory

Nov 29, 2023, 3:48 PM

inslee grant co battery...

Washington Governor Jay Inslee (Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Gov. Jay Inslee appeared at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new battery manufacturer factory in Moses Lake Wednesday morning to explain how the state is investing in renewable energy.

The company, Sila, is opening a factory to produce batteries for electric vehicle manufacturers, and it hopes that the pioneering new technology for EV batteries could add up to 20% more charging capacity and decrease charging time.

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“I’m happy to welcome Sila to Washington and Moses Lake, home to a growing number of clean energy innovators solving some of our biggest challenges in this transition,” Inslee said. “Producing the best EVs possible is a key piece of that transition and I look forward to seeing Sila’s pioneering work come to fruition.”

The new factory was helped by a $100 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) is pleased to announce this $100 million investment to scale up silicon anode manufacturing with Sila, a company that has been part of the Department of Energy’s portfolio from its infancy,” said MESC Director Giulia Siccardo. “With this plant, Sila and Moses Lake are poised to manufacture a revolutionary battery material that improves performance, lowers cost, and accelerates our electric future.”

Governor Jay Inslee describes it as a “quantum leap.”

“When we bring good-paying, consistent, environmentally friendly jobs in Washington, it helps everybody,” Inslee said. “It brings in new neighbors, it helps fund our schools. And it’s a group of people who share values, the people in these clean tech jobs, it’s very interesting when you talk to them; they’re highly motivated to build an environment that won’t wreck the planet.”

More on Inslee: Inslee on debilitating gas prices: ‘We won’t stand for’ corporate greed

Sila said that they are working with Big Bend Community College and Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center to provide vocational training for people interested in working with them.

In the next five years, Sila expects to hire between 100-500 full-time employees and ramp plant capacity to power one million cars.

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Gov. Inslee touts green energy at new Moses Lake battery factory